Wednesday, July 10, 2002

open source biology Here's an interesting story (via slashdot) about "open source biology."
Gilman isn't hoarding his findings, but unloading them directly into the public domain and spurning patents and copyright. He won't rely on brilliant insights coming as he sits cross-legged in a woodshed; he's going to organize a massive public brainstorm and rely on the collective wisdom of his many collaborators. Seven core labs will serve as central coordinators as the undertaking evolves, but hundreds of other people will pipe in over the Internet. Nearly 500 scientists worldwide have already lined up to design descriptive Web pages for molecules key to the inner workings of cells.
(I fully anticipate that one of my more biologically-savvy colleagues will chime in with some criticism that I'm unequipped to make, but I think it sounds pretty cool.)