Record songs onto a Bacteria- yes Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory can claim to use bacteria as an ipod storage device

Researchers Store children’s song It’s a Small World on bacteria and recovered it from the 100th Generation

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory used artificial DNA sequences to encode portions of the text of the children’s song It’s a Small World, added the sequences to bacteria DNA, allowed the bacteria to multiply, then extracted the message part of a DNA strand and retrieved the encoded information, Bliss ha just the kind of solution I need to store all my digital music when my ipod gets full.

Well may be not so easy since there are some potential problems the memory capacity would be huge because each bacteria in a colony could encode different information; it is very difficult to select a single bacteria from a colony, well that cant good, But I like the concept pretty futuristic

These DNA messages, each about 150 bases long, were inserted into bacteria such as E. coliDeinococcus radiodurans. Because DNA is passed down through generations of living organisms, information stored this way should survive for as long as the line of organisms survives, said Pak Wong, a chief scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. DNA is made up of four bases attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone. Different sequences of the four bases can represent digital information

Considering that a milliliter of liquid can contain up to 10 billion bacteria, the potential capacity of bacterial-based DNA memory is enormous

The researchers let the bacteria propagate for 100 generations, then retrieved the encoded information by extracting the message part of the DNA strand from the youngest generation and reading it via polymerase chain reaction, a laboratory procedure that took about two hours and involved a series of heating and cooling cycles.

The researchers used seven different bacteria to store and retrieve seven DNA fragments that ranged from 57 to 99 base pairs long and encoded text from the children’s song

The study was published in 2003

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Wireless ID Skin Patch Technology for Personal diagnostics using cell phones

Medgadget reports about the IP Development Company Gentag and Frank Sammeroff working on a new smart, wireless ID skin patch technology that aims to reduce medical errors in hospitals worldwide,

 

This patented, non-invasive solution combines disposable skin patches with RFID tags and cellphones, enabling doctors and nurses to use their handsets or wireless PDAs to update medical charts, time of patient visit and drug administration.

 

Not only that, it can be used to warn about possible drug interactions prior to drug delivery on-the-spot – a great tool for a doctor who has been working for 2 shifts in a row without stopping.

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Microsoft Research, Indian Institute of Science Collaborate

Microsoft Research announced a sponsored research and collaboration agreement with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India, to accelerate the scientific discovery process by increasing computational power in scientific and engineering research. This is the first agreement Microsoft Research has signed in India as part of a global effort to collaborate with leading institutions around advanced computing for science and engineering. Under this agreement, Microsoft Research has committed to providing funding and research expertise to assist with major projects around life sciences research and advanced high-performance computing platforms based on Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 for scientific applications, such as modeling of the Indian Ocean in the coming two to three years.

Professor Nagasuma Chandra, on the faculty of the Bioinformatics Centre at IISc, will be the principal investigator collaborating with Microsoft Research India for the biological data mapping project. The goal of the project is to create research tools for integration of various biological data, leading to greater understanding of biological systems as well as facilitating ready applications in many stages of drug and vaccine discovery.

Prof. R. Govindarajan of Supercomputer Education and Research Centre at IISc will lead the second project on high-performance applications using commodity clusters.

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.

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 

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),  

Google Health -health information storage

interestingly I found this image from an earlier post of Bertalan at scienceroll

The story according to the blog Google Blogoscoped, Google’s nascent Google Health product, codenamed “Weaver”, will offer consumers the opportunity to create a central repository for their health records, including medications, history, test results and allergies. The blog has a number of screenshots of the program in development.

Well google certainly has more up its sleeve, doubt it, chek the google labs page,

Passionate about these topics? You should work at Google. among others listed is interest in genetic algorithms

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