Friday, July 27, 2007

U.S.: House Backs Taxpayer-Funded Research Access

From the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (Chemists Without Borders is a member).

Final Appropriations Bill Mandates Free Access to NIH Research Findings

Washington, D.C. ­ July 20, 2007 ­ In what advocates hailed as a major
advance for scientific communication, the U.S. House of Representatives
yesterday approved a measure directing the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) to provide free public online access to agency-funded research
findings within 12 months of their publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
With broad bipartisan support, the House passed the provision as part of the
FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill.

³The House has affirmed the principle that broad sharing of publicly funded
research findings on the Internet is an essential component of our nation¹s
investment in science,² said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and a leader of
the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA). ³This action paves the way for all
scientists and citizens to access, use, and benefit from the results of
publicly funded biomedical research.²

³We¹re pleased by Congress¹s recognition of the fundamental rationale for
public access ­ that better-informed patients, clinicians, and researchers
will mean better health outcomes,² said Sharon Terry, President of the
Genetic Alliance and an ATA activist. ³The time has come to sweep away
unnecessary barriers to understanding and treating disease. The Genetic
Alliance thanks and congratulates the House of Representatives for taking
this vital step.²

The current NIH Public Access Policy, implemented in 2005 as a voluntary
measure, has resulted in the deposit of less than 5% of eligible research by
individual investigators.

In a recent letter to Congress, 26 Nobel Laureates called for enactment of
mandatory NIH public access, noting that, "requiring compliance is not a
punitive measure, but rather a simple step to ensure that everyone,
including scientists themselves, will reap the benefits that public access
can provide. We have seen this amply demonstrated in other innovative
efforts within the NIH ­ most notably with the database that contains the
outcome of the Human Genome Project.²

³The coalition of support for the NIH policy is extremely broad,² added
Joseph. ³This critical step was achieved as a result of the vision and
collective effort of patient groups, scientists, researchers, publishers,
students, and consumers who registered their support.²

A similar measure has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee
and will be considered by the full Senate later this summer.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Open source product development, LinkedIn, MindMeister

Perhaps this has been said before, but regarding various projects, I envision broad participation from people all over the world contributing to solving the problem, or adapting to local needs, much as open source software is developed.

There are now many networking tools on the web which can help us. I have started to use LinkedIn and think it will be a powerful tool in expanding our network and resources, and will be a benefit for each and every participant.

Another tool is MindMeister , which allows us to do mind mapping collaboratively on the web. This could be very handy during conference calls, and for project management, etc. Here's a scrap of an example which you can even drag around within its frame here:

Other tools, ideas, comments welcome.


Free ASP Shopping Cart :: Comersus

See Free ASP Shopping Cart :: Comersus

An interesting chain of links brought me here. From the perspective of generating revenue and of broadening awareness, perhaps there are - or will be - things we sell on our website. T-shirts, books, information - revenues to support the cause. How can we expand on this?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Chemists Without Borders Conference Call, 6-28-2007

Last week's conference call was very exciting. Rolande Hodel (www.AIDSfreeAFRICA.org, New York, NY) and Terry Wright (www.Cytoluminator.com, Darwin, Australia) had an extended discussion of their respective projects. Cytoluminator employs photodynamic therapy (PDT), which has been succesfully used to cure various intractable diseases. Terry said that they have been able to kill HIV in models and are preparing to do human clinical testing. Rolande may have candidates for that. Moreover, Terry said he has a prospective investor with very deep pockets (>$1billion) who may even become interested in financing Rolande's pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Cameroon, Africa. All in all, a very stimulating discussion. This is just the beginning.