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NIH scaling back on model organism database funding: what you can do

TL;DR: NIH are scaling back funding on model organism databases, which will degrade annotation quality.  This can have far-reaching implications in many aspects of biology and computational biology. There’s a letter you can sign electronically, please do.  <http://www.genetics-gsa.org/MODsupport> I am hoping to write a more detailed post on why this is important, but for the […]

Open Access: green vs. gold, and the culture of the disconnect

Four years ago I wrote about how Open Access would be adopted if it were convenient. Polls at the time showed that few scientists actively seek to publish OA, even though many support it. Reasons given, in no particular order: aiming for journals that were not OA and high publication fees. My conclusion was that researchers […]

Sequencing the frog that can save lives

TL; DR:  The genome sequence of the North American Wood Frog will tell us a lot about the genetic control of freezing and reanimating whole organisms. My friend and colleague, Dr. Andor Kiss is crowdfunding this project. If you would like to help, please go to experiment.com. You will get acknowledged by name in the paper. To […]

Music Monday: Sequester Blues

  The sequester is hitting science funding in the US pretty hard. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH,  is lobbying any way he can to get the NIH off the hook. In 2013, there will be 700 fewer grants awarded than in 2012.  4.7% cuts across the board to grant renewals.   So, here’s […]

Grants are the scientist’s homework

I can’t believe I did not realize this before. Thanks to Mickey Kosloff for enlightening me by posting this on his Facebook.   Of course grants are like homework. You don’t want to do them; anything is better, really; multiple excuses why not to do them right now; anything has more priority, suddenly. BUT if […]

Can we make accountable research software?

Preamble: this post is inspired by a series of tweets that took place over the past couple of days. I am indebted to Luis Pedro Coelho (@LuisPedroCoelho) and to Robert Buels (@rbuels) for a stimulating, 140-char-at-a-time discussion. Finally, my thanks (and yours, hopefully) to Ben Temperton for initiating the Bioinformatics Testing Consortium. Science is messing around with […]

ISMB 2012 Vignettes Pt. 1: Grant Writing Tips

ISMB 2012 was an excellent meeting. The organizers were celebrating the 20th anniversary of ISMB meetings, and have carefully chosen the keynote speakers to reflect not only the latest advances in bioinformatics, but also to talk about the past accomplishments,  how they led us to where were are now,  and what the future may hold.  […]

Does Open Access benefit small universities?

There has been quite a lot of chatter recently about different scientific publishing models. Prompted by Elsevier’s support for the Research Works Act, and the resulting proposed  academic boycott. Let there be no mistake: I value the Open Access (OA )model of publication, for both moral and practical reasons that have been elaborated upon in […]

Science Funding: Aging Researchers and Funding Recipients

Here is a video produced by Sally Rockey and her team showing changes in age distribution of NIH Principal Investigators and medical school faculty. Rockey is NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, serving as the principal scientific leader and advisor to the NIH Director on the NIH extramural research program. The video compares the average […]

Probably a good time to talk about pancreatic cancer

  Percent of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed when the disease is still localized: 8 Their 5-year relative survival: 21.5% Percent of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed when the disease has metastasized: 53 Their 5-year relative survival: 1.8% Mean survival rate after diagnosis: < 1 year Ranking in cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide: 4 Number of effective […]

Guest Post: Thoughts on the Superjournal

Guest post by Leighton Pritchard The new top-tier competitor to Science and Nature proposed by three leading funders of scientific research last week is a great idea, but I think runs a risk of opening the scientific process to a potentially damaging slander by opponents of science. As practising academic scientists we’re all concerned, and […]

Grant Opportunities from Agilent

  Two funding opportunities, available worldwide. Read below and visit  www.Agilent.com/lifesciences/emerginginsights for more details and application forms.   Agilent’s eMerging Insights Grant Program Fostering integrated, whole-systems approaches to biological research with two $75K grants for open source data-integration tool development The different omics platforms—genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics—are generating new insights into how biological systems […]

Open Access: the Revolution Will be Convenient

Some time ago an article in Linux Journal discussed the adoption of free/open course software (FOSS) by the general public. The article (I can’t seem to find it now) talked about the people that do not care about the distinction between Free as in Free Beer vs. Free as in Freedom (libre). They want software […]

Grant Writing Boot Camp

Proposal Sergeant: On your feet you hackers! Up, up up up up! What do you think this place is, one of your conferences where you can sleep in late and grab a cafe-latte on your way to the keynote lecture? NO IT IS NOT! This is a grant writing boot camp! We’re up bright and […]

Colbert on Gene Patents

Recently, a judge in Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that Myriad’s patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were invalid, being a “products of the law nature” and could be patented no more than, say, mount Everest. These two genes are associated with breast and ovarian cancer, and are used in testing for susceptibility to […]