Will open source biology get anywhere?

Will open source biology get anywhere?

Summary: The first such "open source biology" company, Sage Bionetworks, was founded just this year and is only now beginning to solicit its first donations beyond seed money.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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While open source moves forward smartly in software, the movement has barely begun in biology, where the need is much greater.

The first such "open source biology" company, Sage Bionetworks, was founded just this year and is only now beginning to solicit its first donations beyond seed money.

Its growth may be slowed in that both co-founders, Stephen Friend and Eric Schadt (who has since left), came from Merck, and the perception may be that this is a Merck stalking horse.

The big news is that this may be broadening. Sage is now trumpeting a "major donation" (amount unspecified) from Quintiles, a contract researcher with 21,000 employees.  Friend is now going around the world in search of more.

I will have more to say about Sage's efforts in biology, and what may be hampering them, over at SmartPlanet Rethinking Healthcare, but for now I want to solicit the wisdom of open source readers.

How would you go about gaining traction for open source biology? What should Stephen Friend be doing?

Topic: Open Source

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  • Any patent based on publicly funded research

    should be public domain as a matter of law. It is amazing that public money gets poured into research labs, and when a discovery is made it is handed over to Big Pharma along with all the intellectual property.

    Talk about yet another instance of American style capitalism where corporations have their hand in taxpayer wallets instead of fending for themselves in a free market.

    But I guess that isn't a surprise.
    croberts
    • amen to that... (nt).

      .
      privatejarhead
    • now thats something I can agree with! nt

      .
      shadfurman
    • Re; corporations have their hand in taxpayer wallets

      Also nicknamed US-style socialism.

      It really should not be allowed.
      hkommedal
  • RE: Will open source biology get anywhere?

    The one thing that makes open source software work is the community participation. Open Source Biology will need to incorporate this foundation into it's practice as well. If you can get recent Biology, ChemSci, etc. grads involved and some universities then you start to build a following. Once that happens the next step is to provide them the tools necessary to do the work and EASILY share the results and information.
    rbaccus
  • RE: Will open source biology get anywhere?

    https://cabig.nci.nih.gov/

    http://open-bio.org/wiki/Google_Summer_of_Code_2009

    http://www.bioconductor.org/

    http://www.r-project.org/
    Conmergence