Saturday, September 23, 2006

What you won't find...

Here' s what you won't find in the US news.

(Oil companies squabbling over extraction rights in Russia, and Russia pushing its own agenda...)


ps- can anyone predict what this will do to oil prices?

"Dead" embryos produce live tissue

This is interesting.

Side note that the research is done in Serbia.

I should add that my partner is a diabetic (type 1, since 16) with recent kidney failure, and I am hopeful that someone will accomplish succesful technologies to combat these awful diseases.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

DRAFT Open Access Position Statement

Please see the Open Chemistry Position Statement, endorsed October 12, 2006.

Chemists Without Borders

DRAFT Position Statement on Open Access and Open Source Science (and Suggested Actions)


Within the vision of Chemists Without Borders, Open Access to the traditional scholarly, peer-reviewed journal literature is the library, a global library with equal access to our shared knowledge for all. Open Access is necessary to development of equitable access to chemistry education and research opportunities in both the developed and developing world. CWB strongly supports Open Access, as defined in the Budapest, Berlin, and Bethesda statements, and the measures necessary to implement open access, such as funding agencies requiring open access to the results of the research they fund, and educating researchers about Open Access.

Open Source Science promises more rapid advances in research through open sharing of research information at all stages of the reseach process. Open Source Science means more opportunities for collaboration, whether to facilitate CWB projects or provide researchers with more opportunities for participation in international research collaborations. CWB strongly supports Open Source Science within the context of Open Access.

Open Access

Definition (from the Budapest Open Access Initiative), at:

“By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

True Open Access means free availability immediately on publication, or before as preprints. There are many intermediary steps towards Open Access, such as free access to back issues of journals.

There are two main approaches to Open Access. Articles can be made openly accessible on publication by the journals themselves, using one of a variety of business models (OA publishing, or the gold road). Or, authors can publish in subscription-based journals, and self-archive their work in an open access archive or repository (self-archiving, or the green road).

Open Access to the traditional scholarly, peer-reviewed journal literature advances the vision of Chemists Without Borders in several ways. Indeed, with respect to this literature, open access epitomizes Chemistry Literature Without Borders, as it means equal, barrier-free access to scholarly knowledge for everyone, everywhere.

Equity in access to the scholarly literature is a necessary step towards equity in chemistry education. In the short term, CWB is likely to be primarily composed of individuals from wealthy countries helping those in the developed world. The goal of CWB, however, must be a world where no one area is more needy than another, except perhaps temporarily in response to an environmental crisis. In this world, CWB is a global community of scientists where any region could be either a recipient of help, or a helper, depending on the circumstances. Equity in access to chemistry education brings us closer to this goal.

In the short term, more equity in access to the scholarly literature means more partners for CWB in the developing world, more students and faculty from the developed world with the means to participate, and better and more reliable access to the research literature for CWB volunteers in the field.

It has been shown that the research article that is OA has more impact, that is, an article that is open access is more likely to be read and cited. If those who research topics of importance to the developing world (and CWB) openly share the results of their research, answers can be found faster. Also, when authors in developing countries share their work as open access, they have more impact; their work is more visible, searchable, and retrievable.

It seems likely that the OA impact advantage will enhance the prestige of authors and universities in the developing world, attract further research on the topics of interest to the these authors, occasionally attract the attention of potential business partners, and increase the authors’ chances of attracting funding or opportunities such as international collaboration on research projects. For example, if an author in the developing world publishes their work as open access, a CWB member is more likely to read their work, and this could lead to a partnership on a CWB project.

Open Source Science

There are many approaches to the sharing of scientific information throughout the research process; CWB encourages experimentation with approaches that meet the criteria of open access along with open source. One example is blogging of experiments; there are many other approaches to open source science, and more will be developed as the potential of the world wide web unfolds.

Open source science has a powerful potential to advance research in and about the developing world, as it allows researchers who may not have as much expensive equipment to participate in collaborative research in a meaningful way.


Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing

Suggested Actions

Educate chemists and chemistry students about open access and open source science, for example through the CWB blog and newsletter.

Create an open archive for chemistry; help develop and support policies requiring deposit of research articles, for example funders' and universities' policies (note: some resources – technology, expertise – required).

Write letters to funding agencies supporting open access policy initiatives in development, for example the Federal Research to Public Access Act in the U.S.

Encourage chemists to publish in open access journals and/or self-archive their work. Encourage chemistry publishers to move to open access business models and revise authors’ agreement to facilitate self-archiving.

Last revised July 27, 2006

CWB members: this position statement will be brought forward for voting at the next meeting, likely mid-October, as we discussed at last Thursday's meeting. Watch for more details in the next newsletter. Comments and questions are welcome, via blog, CWB list, at the next meeting, or contact me directly. If you are commenting on the blog, please indicate whether you are a CWB member.

This draft open access position statement has been highlighted on Peter Suber's Open Access News.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Internet access anywhere - Think of the possibilities!

Going to Amazon
By Dean Takahashi
Mercury News
Posted on Wed, Sep. 20, 2006

If the Internet can reach the middle of the Amazon jungle, then it can probably reach anywhere.

That's why Intel has decided to provide wireless Internet access to the remote Brazilian city of Parintins, which is home to 114,000 people on an island in the Amazon river. Intel Chairman Craig Barrett will christen the service today as an example of how the company can bring the Internet to poorer regions of the world.

In the past couple of months, more than 60 employees from Intel and its partners have set up the first high-speed wireless Internet connection in the city as a showcase for WiMax, the long-range version of WiFi wireless Internet that Intel has championed. The project is part of the Intel World Ahead philanthropic program, which seeks to bring wireless Internet access to less-modern parts of the world over the next five years.

``If we can be successful here, we will replicate this in other isolated communities around the world where electricity and telecommunications are unreliable,'' said Oscar Clarke, general manager for Intel Brazil. ``If Parintins can do it, it can be done anywhere.''

Parintins is certainly isolated. There are no roads to the city. It can only be reached by a 12-hour boat ride from Manaus, the nearest large city, or by airplane. Two hydroelectric plants supply electricity, but to only parts of the island.

The city needs Internet access in part for medical reasons, because it has only 32 doctors and one hospital, Clarke said.

WiMax is particularly well suited in this case because one WiMax radio tower can cover 30 miles or so, giving coverage to the entire city. The 300-foot WiMax tower is connected via a satellite link to the rest of the Internet.

Intel is donating a total of 65 computers to the hospital, a community center, and two local schools. Of the 190 schools in the city, only one has Internet access right now.

The city started as a native Indian village and is now famous for its Parintins Folklore Festival, which draws crowds from around the country. Barrett will fly into the city and visit four locations, each of which has a WiFi wireless Internet network that links into the WiMax network. Clarke said Intel was able to set up the network in just six weeks.

Other companies that assisted with the project include Cisco Systems, Proxim Wireless, Brazilian long-distance provider Embratel, Brazilian telecommunications firm CPdQ, Brazilian educational non-profit Bradesco Foundation, and the Amazonas State University.
Contact Dean Takahashi at dtakahashi@ or (408) 920-5739.

AIDS affects children too, or have we forgotten that?

Victoria Hale Named 2006 MacArthur Fellow
Founder & CEO of the Institute of OneWorld Health Recognized for Pioneering Non-Profit Pharmaceutical Company

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named Victoria Hale, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of the Institute for OneWorld Health (iOWH), a 2006 MacArthur Fellow today. These prestigious Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have developed original and creative ideas that have the potential to make important contributions in the future. Dr. Hale is being honored as a Pharmaceutical Entrepreneur for creating a nonprofit model of drug development that is driven by the neglected health needs of people in the developing world.

"The MacArthur Fellowship will give OneWorld Health increased visibility and help us form entrepreneurial partnerships to ensure that people with the greatest need gain access to the new medicines we are developing. It will also help me look at ways to apply the model of OneWorld Health in other areas of global health," said Dr. Hale.

The MacArthur Foundation does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations for Fellows. Only twenty to twenty-five Fellows are chosen through a meticulous review process analyzing their work and overall promise. Fellows are awarded an unrestricted grant of $500,000 distributed over the course of five years.

Dr. Hale's recent honors include selection as an Ashoka Senior Fellow for leading work in social innovation (2006), Executive of the Year by Esquire Magazine (2005), the Economist Innovation Award for Social and Economic Innovation (2005), and the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2005).

Learn more about the MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program.

Read the article from the San Francisco Chronicle about the MacArthur Fellows announcement.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Global Warming Propaganda funded by..... Tobacco Companies

This is ALMOST unbelievable.


AIDS affects children too, or have we forgotten that?

This editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News last week.

    Posted on Thu, Sep. 14, 2006   

AIDS affects children too, or have we forgotten that?

By Ruthann Richter

In all the bluster of the recent International AIDS Conference in Toronto, where did the children go? It was stunning how little attention was paid to them, with hardly a mention of children in all the talk about how to contain the epidemic and treat those in need.

The epidemic is 25 years old, yet we are still at a stage where children are largely ignored in the policy arena and receive minimal funding to meet their needs, both physical and psychological. That is the case despite that 2.3 million of the world's children -- most of them in sub-Saharan Africa -- are now living and dying with HIV. And an additional 15 million are growing up without the nurturing hand of a mother or father because AIDS has taken them away.

``It is impossible to understand how, in the year 2006, we continue to fail to implement policies to address the torrent, the deluge, of orphan children,'' Stephen Lewis, the U.N. envoy for AIDS in Africa, said in closing the mammoth conference Aug. 18. ``I appeal to everyone to recognize that we're walking on the knife's edge of an unsolvable human catastrophe.''

While the number of orphans is escalating, only 3 to 5 percent of them receive any help from government programs, a figure Lewis called ``chilling.'' And though young children are particularly susceptible to the ravages of HIV, with 60 to 70 percent dying by their fifth birthday, fewer than 5 percent of those infected benefit from treatment.

The Clinton Foundation certainly must be credited for advancing the cause of children, helping bring down the cost of pediatric antiretrovirals to less than $200 a year and making these lifesaving drugs available to more than 10,000 children. But as Clinton himself acknowledged at the conference, it's a small fraction of the more than 500,000 youngsters with advanced disease who desperately need treatment to live.

Children continue to be discriminated against on many fronts. Kenyan pediatrician Ruth Nduati, the only plenary conference speaker who focused on children's issues, observed that while adults get free testing for HIV in Kenya, children have to pay a fee -- hardly an option for youngsters often living on the edge of starvation. And while there are 280 sites in the East African country that now hand out anti-AIDS drugs, only 76 of them offer them to children.

During my travels in Kenya, I visited a number of projects to help youngsters -- small, grass-roots programs run by local activists who have rushed in to fill the gap. These programs operate on shoestring budgets, without the benefit of aid from governments or global organizations, which have been woefully absent from the movement to care for orphans and vulnerable children.

Some programs, like the Mji Wa Neema (House of Hope) orphanage in Naivasha, are run by faith-based organizations, in this case the local Catholic Church. The parish priest, Father Daniel Kiriti, has been recast in the role of HIV activist, for he sees the orphans literally collecting at his doorstep. One child, only hours old, arrived early one Sunday morning -- a small package in a paper bag borne by a parishioner who had rescued her from the parish fence. Tolea, as she is called, is now thriving at the orphanage despite infection with HIV.

At another project in Gilgil, a retired nurse and a local cafe owner have cobbled together a home of last resort for children who have no other place to go. One resident, 2-year-old Mary Maishon, was within weeks of starving to death when they rescued her last year. Both her parents had died of AIDS, and her grandfather had virtually abandoned her. She had been living under a piece of cardboard and plastic with her 4-year-old sister and 3-year-old cousin. Mary had been crippled by malnutrition, unable to walk, and too traumatized to talk. She is alive today only because of the efforts of a few community activists working with scarce, donated funds.

It's unforgivable that the world continues to turn its back on children like Mary and Tolea. Saving the younger generation is not only the right thing -- the human thing -- to do, but it is also important for global security and stability. As Lewis warned, if we don't intervene now, ``We are inviting the whirlwind, and we will not be able to cope.''
RUTHANN RICHTER, director of media relations at the Stanford University School of Medicine, writes frequently on the topic of children and AIDS. She wrote this article for the Mercury News.

© 2006 and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blue Obelisk

Open source chemistry folks, especially those going to ACS in San Francisco - might want to check out The Blue Obelisk Movement - sounds like this group has much in common with CWB! Thanks to
Peter Murray-Rust, via Peter Suber on Open Access News, for the tip.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

ACS Open Access Option

The American Chemical Society has just announced its Open Access Option. Authors can make their work immediately openly accessible for a fee from $1,000 to $3,000 per article, depending on whether they are ACS members and their institutional libraries are subscribers. Kudos to ACS, and many thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News for the alert.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The clock may be ticking...

Here is an interesting article regarding the "tipping point" before the point of no return for our climate.

Your thoughts?


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Peter Murray-Rust on Openness and Ethics in Science

Cambridge's Peter Murray-Rust, a chemist and leader of the open data movement, talks about Openness and Ethics in Science. Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.