Microsoft accelerates free access to journals

Information technology company Microsoft will give technical assistance to enhance access to online research for scientists, thats when most of the publishers of scientific journals are fighting against Open Access journals. Take a look at the blog  on the subject by  Greg at nodalpoint

Announced at a meeting in Washington in July Representatives from the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environmental Programme, and leading science and technology publishers, together with representatives from Cornell and Yale Universities met to officially extend their free access to peer-reviewed journals for many developing world scientists to 2015, in line with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Microsoft will provide new software called the Intelligent Application Gateway 2007 (formally Whale) that will meet increased demand for access to heavily trafficked portals and perform at the standards of today’s most heavily trafficked websites. The system will also enhance security through authentication of users when they log on.

The website that benefit includes open access websites such as   HINARI  Cochrane Library   AGORA and Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE),  

Collaborative Drug Discovery

Collaborative Drug Discovery Releases Next Generation Database for Both Private Collaborations and Public Open Access

Collaborative Drug Discovery enables scientists to archive, mine, and collaborate to more effectively develop new drug candidates for commercial and humanitarian markets.

 The technology enables novel community-based research efforts that become more and more useful as additional participants contribute data. Publicly available data sets currently in the system include the FDA orphan and approved drugs and small molecule drug discovery data dating back over half a century. These data sets pertain to a diverse group of neglected diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, African Sleeping Sickness, Chagas Disease and Leishmania.

New horizons ahead

Its been two years since I have been with Ocimum Biosolutions ,the India HQ company serving bioinformatics and microarray market in US with office in Indianapolis and another lab in netherlands, I have been working in the business development of the company’s microarray arm in US which was acquired from MWG biotech, we had tasted success,

I have been busy lately as I have resigned from the company now that explains the absence of any new posts for few weeks now. Ocimum is one of the unique bioinformatics oraganization to make its mark in this industry, because unlike many new companies .  it was started by people with no biological background but has been selected as one of fastest growing life science company in India and Asia many times by Deloitte ranking and many other independent agencies. apart from winning awards from government and even a funding fro world bank. So what makes them so sucessful

Ocimum offers services in bioinformatics oligo microarray and R&D but its the presence of its labs near to its customers and the company’s software development division housed at Hyderabad India that makes the difference. Coupled with India’s cost efficiency, it has many advantages

Bioinformatics industry is going through a face of consolidation, marketed in India in its infancy as a glamorous field to work many who jumped into the fray has burned their hands. and industry analysis in 2000 predicted the industry to become a 100 billion worth by 2004, yet even in 2007, majority of the biologists are yet to warm upto the industry in a way predicted by the software pundits

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c59429) has announced the addition of “Biomed Outsourcing Report: An Overview of the Life Sciences and Outsourcing Landscape in India: Spotlight on Bangalore” to their offering.

How Many Scientists Does it Take To Fix a Gene?

The headline of the article that appeared in a news paper was interesting, I thought I will use the same headline to right about it.

The original text of the article can be read at cityonHillPress

While reading the article I also came thougth its worth to have a look at the book Building Biotechnology  written by  Yali Friedman who serves on the science advisory board of Chakra Biotech and the editorial advisory boards of the Biotechnology Journal and Open Biotechnology Journal.

 Yali also publishes a blog at BiotechBlog.com

From science to business

It takes upto to 15 years and multimillion  dollar investments  to patent and market one successful drug for pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Trying to make the sure that the scientists receive the best R&D support possible companies have looked at outsourcing and insourcing and everything else.

And the new boy in the buzz world is “crowdsourcing” claiming businesses a way to tap into a larger, global community of scientists and R&D exeutives.

Crowdsourcing is a business model in which a company or institution takes a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsources it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call over the Internet. The work is compensated with little or no pay in most cases. However, in a few examples the labor is well-compensated .

Did that made sense it sounds like open source in biotech fields. but hold on your horses, it not that straight forward, remember Nature has published an article about open source in drug discover industry some time back, there is big list of things that makes it a difficult project.

But there is one company that has pulled it off successfully set up by drug giant Eli Lilly in 2001, for its projects Innocentive is one such crowdsourcer, So far, chemicals and life sciences have been the main users of crowdsourcers, offering rewards of up to $1m if they are successful. There are other places , such as Nine Sigma and Yet2.com and Scienteur, offer similar models.

Another firm Procter & Gamble P&G also works with Nine Sigma , YourEncore andYet2.com and Innocentive

Boeing , Dow Chemical , Eli Lilly and Procter & Gamble , Solvay are number of companies that have benefited fro this model ,

IT industry has grown to this level because people were willing to share data and collaborate , ofcourse there is much difference between IT and biological industry . But will scientists from life science industry would do it- So far the answer is No- may in future they might be more open to such needs

Read Related studies Further at
The Value of Openness in Scientific Problem Solving

Can open-source R&D reinvigorate drug research a nature Review

Previous Blogs

Open source in Biotechnology

Online data Sharing for scientists – Will they accept it

Data sharing policies at 10 journals- blog of the week

Heather Piwowar  blogging at ReseacrhRemix made a post on Data sharing policies at 10 selected journals.  general science (Nature and Science), medicine (JAMA and NEJM), oncology (JCO and Cancer), genetics (Human Molecular Genetics and PLoS Computational Biology), and bioinformatics (Bioinformatics and BMC Bioinformatics). she has published a spreadsheet comparing the results at http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pdheCmaT42j62B-a7sx0BRA

Open source and Biology Are we there yet?

one of the lines I heard in past was that scientists had shunned wikis, tagging, and social networks that may be true to some extent .Even the mighty nature network which is read by thousands had a hard time attracting scientists and making sure that they keep the blog at pace. Blogging may be too early in the scene coupled with many other issues that bog the idea such as identity authneticity of the information and content et al. But what is causing the lethargy towards open access and peer review database and websites.

Beginning from March 2007 Nature Biotechnology is recommending that raw data from proteomics and molecular-interaction experiments be deposited in a public database before manuscript submission. There are many articles about the power of citation from open access database and peer reviewd articles. Still the number of top research papers appearing in these websites does seem to support the enthusiasm shared by everyone.

I came across a very good blog about how the Open access amplify a whole university’s research impact chek out the blog by Peter Suber The Open access News blog    The research Informatio network team blog from UK also publishes some of the best work in this subject chek RIN blog

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