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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-13-2011
In the video below, Mendelspod interviews Jonathan Eisen, winner of the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Award and Academic editor in chief of PLOS biology. Dr. Eisen talks about the open science movement which is all about sharing and spreading knowledge. (It’s a long interview, but if you stick around to the end you’ll get a nice treat on the “brain doping” april fool’s gag.)
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-25-2011
This past week the NIH announced that it was tightening its rules on financial conflict of interest for researchers receiving funding from drug and medical device companies. The new rules include the following revised regulations:
Require investigators to disclose to their institutions all of their significant financial interests related to their institutional responsibilities.
Lower the monetary threshold at which significant financial interests require disclosure, generally from $10,000 to $5,000.
Require institutions to report to the PHS awarding component additional information on identified financial conflicts of interest and how they are being managed.
Require institutions to make certain information accessible to the public concerning identified SFIs held by senior/key personnel.
Require investigators to complete training related to the regulations and their institution’s financial conflict of interest policy.
According to the Washington Post, there are over 40,000 scientists who currently receive more than $5,000 in annual funding from the drug and medical device industries.
Despite the NIH’s move towards increasing financial transparency, not all watchdog groups are happy with the measure.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-18-2011
For the first time ever, scientists are using computers and genomic information to predict new uses for existing medicines.
A National Institutes of Health-funded computational study analyzed genomic and drug data to predict new uses for medicines that are already on the market. A team led by Atul J. Butte, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., reports its results in two articles in the Aug. 17 online issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Butte’s group focused on 100 diseases and 164 drugs. They created a computer program to search through the thousands of possible drug-disease combinations to find drugs and diseases whose gene expression patterns essentially cancelled each other out. For example, if a disease increased the activity of certain genes, the program tried to match it with one or more drugs that decreased the activity of those genes.
Below is a talk that Dr. Buttes gave recently at Packard Children’s Hospital where he explained some of the amazing work done in his lab.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-03-2011
Yesterday, we told you about a study that found that family physicians are ill-prepared when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients based on their genomic data. As a follow up to that story, I’d like to bring your attention to a recent post by W. Gregory Feero, MD, PhD on KevinMD which talks about the overwhelming growth of genomic data and how the pace of discovery is far exceeding the capacity of the health care system’s IT infrastructure.
According to Dr. Feero, medical record keeping in the United States is a far cry away from being able to house the hundreds of petabytes of genomic data that will eventually need to be stored in their systems. Furthermore, upgrading to compatible systems are bound to be prohibitively expensive. He also postulates that the falling cost of genome sequencing might make it cheaper to sequence individual data on an as-needed basis as opposed to storing the data en-masse.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-27-2011
Rarely do scientists get an opportunity to influence the funding direction of the largest granting agency in the United States, the National Institute of Health. Yet that is exactly what we are being asked to do in the NIH’s latest request for information.
The NIH is requesting that the scientific community send in its ideas on how best to support or accelerate neuroscience research. Responses should address:
areas of neuroscience research that could be accelerated by the development of specific research resources or tools
major opportunities for, and impediments to, advancing neuroscience research
the 2-3 highest priority tools or resources needed to capitalize on the scientific opportunities and overcome obstacles to progress in neuroscience research
how NIH Blueprint might best facilitate the development of these tools/resources
Your answers could influence where neuroscience funding is directed over the next couple of years so be sure to checkout the NIH website to add your two cents!