Scholarly publishers throws out Microsoft

After PLOS nature its the turn of microsoft, Life science researchers are in no mood to relent to industry’s interests.

Microsoft’s latest Word release has caused chaos in scholarly publishing circles. Submit a paper to, the journal Nature in Word 2007, and you will face the following warning:

We currently cannot accept files saved in Microsoft Office 2007 formats. Equations and special characters cannot be edited and are incompatible with Nature’s own editing and typesetting programs.’

And it’s not just Nature. Try Science, The Lancet and pretty much any ‘mathematics-intensive’ journal in the world and you will hit the same problem

Science and Nature will no longer accept manuscripts written in Microsoft’s Office 2007 suite. because the latest version of Word is no longer compatible with Mathematical Markup Language (MathML), the de facto standard for writing equations in text documents, according to recent notices posted on the Web sites of both Science and Nature journals. In Office 2007, Microsoft’s own Office MathML (OMML) is used for equations.

And it doesnt end there Microsoft and Sun and open world society are up in arms against each other on adoption of Open Source Document Format. Microsoft supports OOXML and Sun supports ODF (Open Document Format alliance)  which also is enjoying widespread support from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Google

India’s  21-member technical committee decided that India will vote a ‘no’ against Microsoft’s Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in Geneva on September 2.

Laying with the Lions

The following article is one of the best I just came across which talkes about advantages of better collaboration in pharma companies.

 

The study and articles are on Act Magazine website

 

Medicine 2.0

The article is from the CNN Money and its about Quebec-based company Myca whcih provides service called MyFoodPhone, which lets users snap photos of their daily meals and send them to the company’s nutritional analysts.

When it comes to Web2.0 technology in medicine I guess ScienceRoll has some of the best blogs

Toxicogenomics can change face of clinical trials

“Genomics is only the start. Proteomics has been around for years and metabonomics is an up and coming important technology, both of which are complimentary to genomics. But still I think that genomics will be the most successful and most predictive of all these technologies.” Dr Phil Hewitt  Head of Toxicogenomics at Merck.

Meanwhile Gene Logic Provides the FDA with Access to Toxicogenomics Data and Analysis Systems for Reviewing Voluntary Genomic Data Submissions, and Iconix Released On-Line Version of World’s Largest Toxicogenomic Reference Database ,

Growing like IT companies- can Biotech do the magic

Information technologies have significantly contributed to the evolution of work over the last fifty years. At first, IT was primarily applied to automate back office, highly repetitive and fairly standardized tasks, such as financial transactions, payroll, and inventory management.

Customer self-service was arguably the commercial killer-app of the Web in the ’90s. Now giving way to SOA and web collaboration technology, and the SaaS

So where does that put the pharma and biotech industry, we are not so famous for collaboration within the industry. The blatant patent wars and the triumphs to outdo the competitor by developing better and blockbuster drugs have certainly not contributed much to the developemnt of Drug industry in ways that supported the end users/customers. Infact the majority of the big inventions in the last 25 years were borne out of intelligent observations rather than from technological marvels, most of them were the bi product or came across as a lightning discovery during some other research projects.

That role is changing atleast now IT is looked upon and using it to drive business innovation. The involvement is present at every department, from Collaborative drug designing, Online Data sharing, ERP, CRM, use of enterprise systems in clinical research and post launch studies and Business intelligence

Better adoption of IT can dramatically improve the efficiency of and drive business innovation  even using internet to speedup clinical research

Its interesting to learn about Conformia a company that claims to do so by Product performance and life cycle managemnet software for pharmaceutical product development industry and people seem to take attention -SAP an Enterprise application provider has mae investment in joint collaboration with conformia

Perhaps it time we see some major investment and IT helping Pharma companies in post product launch studies, to this date pharma companies do not have enough access to pefroamce data of the drugs present in the market , since hopsitlas and GPs will not like to part with data. Perhaps cost effective IT services might help in avoiding vioxx like incidents by giving pharma companies access to patient data,

Such improvements can only cement the future of genomics /personnal medicine such as samller steps are taken in this direction such as the  Large-Scale Medical Sequencing Clinical Research 

mobile phones can interfere with vital intensive care equipment in Hospitals

Evidence that mobile phones can interfere with vital intensive care equipment has been strengthened.  More than half the hospital ventilators tested by Dutch researchers stopped working properly when a mobile was switched on nearby.

A total of 61 different medical devices were tested, and the majority could be affected by the presence of a mobile. In particular, nine intensive care ventilators were checked, and seven of these could be “influenced” by mobiles.

Other devices which suffered problems were dialysis machines, external pacemaker machines, feeding pumps and even air humidifiers.

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