Politics, Information Technology, and Genomics

Lobbyists and open access

It seems Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is up to his old tricks again, doing the bidding of the large publication houses and introducing H.R. 801, the misleadingly named Fair Copyright in Research Works Act. This bill would remove the requirement that publications from publicly funded research be made available freely to the public after a period of time. In effect allowing journal publishers to profit from tax payer funded research findings, but not tax payers.... Full Post

Listen to the DNA

Well, it may not be as catchy a song title as "Listen to the Flower People", but the folks at DNA rainbow, after having gone to the effort of converting the human genome reference sequence into art, have now converted it into audio. You can listen to a the entire human genome reference sequence, base by base, if you have 23 years to kill. Don't worry, they haven't gotten to the good part yet, as... Full Post

Pharmaceutical research meets the cathedral or the bazaar?

Or does it meet neither? Recently, Merck announced that it would be putting a vast database of highly consistent data about the biology of disease, as well as software tools and other resources to use it into the "public domain". But on the web site run by the non-profit organization set up to manage these resources, Sage, it states "An incubation period of three to five years is anticipated in which new project data are... Full Post

Harold Varmus on The Daily Show

Harold Varmus, Nobel laureate, former director of the NIH, collaborator with The Genome Center, and now comedy straight man, was on The Daily Show last night. In the interview, he discusses the complexities of science funding in the US. Well, at least as much as you can in a four minute interview. The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c Harold Varmus Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things With Demetri Martin Political HumorJoke... Full Post

The bailouts, in perspective

I hesitated to post this last week because it is not directly related to the majority of content on this blog but I decided the financial situation has enough to do with politics to post (mainly because of all the political posturing and blame going around). The story, Taxpayer Beware: Bank Bailout Will Hurt takes a more balanced and nuanced approach to this very complex issue. In essence, there is plenty of blame to go... Full Post