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Thursday, December 27, 2007

US National Institutes of Health Public Access Mandate Made Law

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, the world's largest medical research funder, has just made public access to NIH-funded research mandatory. Congratulations to the U.S. Congress, Senate, and President for a forward-thinking move that will lead to accelerated health research and better health care for everyone, everywhere!

From: Alliance for Taxpayer Access
www.taxpayeraccess.org

For immediate release
December 26, 2007

Contact:
Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121

PUBLIC ACCESS MANDATE MADE LAW
President Bush signs omnibus appropriations bill,
including National Institutes of Health research access provision


Washington, D.C. – December 26, 2007 – President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency.

The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

"Facilitated access to new knowledge is key to the rapid advancement of science," said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Nobel Prize Winner. "The tremendous benefits of broad, unfettered access to information are already clear from the Human Genome Project, which has made its DNA sequences immediately and freely available to all via the Internet. Providing widespread access, even with a one-year delay, to the full text of research articles supported by funds from all institutes at the NIH will increase those benefits dramatically."

"Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the mission of higher education,” said David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges). “Improved access will enable universities to maximize their own investment in research, and widen the potential for discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build upon.”

“Years of unrelenting commitment and dedication by patient groups and our allies in the research community have at last borne fruit,” said Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance. “We’re proud of Congress for their unrelenting commitment to ensuring the success of public access to NIH-funded research. As patients, patient advocates, and families, we look forward to having expanded access to the research we need.”

“Congress has just unlocked the taxpayers’ $29 billion investment in NIH,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). “This policy will directly improve the sharing of scientific findings, the pace of medical advances, and the rate of return on benefits to the taxpayer."

Joseph added, “On behalf of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard over the past several years to bring about implementation of this much-needed policy.”

For more information, and a timeline detailing the evolution of the NIH Public Access Policy beginning May 2004, visit the ATA Web site at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.


The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications
SPARC
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
http://www.arl.org/sparc
(202) 296-2296 ext 121
jennifer@arl.org

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

AIDSfreeAFRICA pictures

For pictures see http://AIDSfreeAFRICA.blogspot.com

From Cameroon's Capital Yaoundé
I am writing this on a french computer with french keyboard - thus forgive me the typos.... Thursday the US Embassy called with my appointment for Friday morning. I finish my e-mails and run home from the Mezam Policlinic's office to gather my things and to let everyone know that I take the night bus to Yaoude. I am hugged as if this was the last day on earth, fed dinner, and hollered off to church. The night bus is on the way to church, so here this makes sense.
I am in the fully loaded bus asleep despite blarring music and reach Yaounde at 5:30 AM. Kenneth picks me up.
I reach the Embassy and meet the newly installed energetic new Ambassador Jeannet Garvey. She thanks us for our work in Cameroon and says: Cameroonians will be so proud knowing that they can produce drugs!
She then offers me to come back with the management of Diamond Pharmaceutical to sit down with her staff to plan how best we can get all the help the Embassy business development programs offer.
The next day I meet with Professor Jato who takes me to the Ministerium of Health where I learn how to register pharmaceuticals in Cameroon. I was introduced to Prof. Jato through the man who sat next to me in the air plane flying in from Casablanca three weeks ago.
I am now in Douala, Cameroon's industrial capital city visiting more people I have not seen yet. Tomorrow Anicestus will drive me to Mutengene where I will see my friends from the Cameroonian Babtist Convention talking about production....
Yes, I am busy and determinded to come home having left something for real in Cameroon.
Posted by Dr. Rolande at 1:04 PM 0 comments



Friday, December 14, 2007
Sewingmachine project in Weh



The sewing machine project in Weh a village in the North West Province of Cameroon is now in it's third year and growing slowly. Of course the women are also asking for additional projects. We are looking for donors who would be delighted to sponsor a project or part of a project. We need USD 1200 for a project that has the power to generate income for 40 families at a time.

Susan Frei donated the sewing items that can be seen in one of the two pictures. This time I was lucky to get the items through to Cameroon. In general, it is easier to brig donations and to buy what's needed in Cameroon.
Posted by Dr. Rolande at 2:23 PM 0 comments



Gifts from AIDSfreeAFRICA volunteer Jennifer







Last year six volunteers acompanied me on my trip to Cameroon. This year they send their love and best wishes, their pictures and toys. All was received with big smiles and apreciation.
Posted by Dr. Rolande at 1:57 PM 0 comments

Labels: 12 year old Delphine and 4 year old Benwih, Mother Eunice


Sunday, December 9, 2007
The Waiting Game
The good thing about waiting for others is that it gives me time to write this blog. Especially since it is Sunday morning, everyone is in Church and the internet is fast. The sad news is that we lost two children from the DILICIG School to Malaria yesterday. One child was rushed to the hospital with burning fever. They gave it a blood transfusion - not sure how that helps with Malaria - but it was too late.
Malaria still kills more children in Cameroon than AIDS. In fact, children are not counted in any country wide statistics until they are 5 years old. After the age of five they have a good chance to survive Malaria, assuming they get drugs. When I arrive our 4 year old orphan in Eunice's house was burning with Malaria fever, but lucky for her "mama" Eunice had gotten malaria drugs for adults and was cutting the pills with a big knife into a child portion - I am sure this is pure guess work. But the child is fine. If I get the pictures posted you will see her with her pink stuffed teddy bear from Auntie Jennifer - one of our last years volunteers.
The young man in the back ground of the photo is our hired armed guard or night watch man. The family did not want to risc anything. There were too many robberies lately, both adult women in the house had their purses snatched from them when they were walking home from church - however, it happened at 8 PM at night long after dark fall and something anyone should be avoiding.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Waiting Game

The good thing about waiting for others is that it gives me time to write this blog. Especially since it is Sunday morning, everyone is in Church and the internet is fast.
The sad news is that we lost two children from the DILICIG School to Malaria yesterday. One child was rushed to the hospital with burning fever. They gave it a blood transfusion - not sure how that helps with Malaria - but it was too late.
Malaria still kills more children in Cameroon than AIDS. In fact, children are not counted in any country wide statistics until they are 5 years old. After the age of five they have a good chance to survive Malaria, assuming they get drugs. When I arrive our 4 year old orphan in Eunices house was burning with Malaria fever, but lucky for her "mama" Eunice had gotten malaria drugs for adults and was cutting the pills with a big knife into a child portion - I am sure this is pure guess work. But the child is fine.

If I get the pictures posted you will see her with her pink stuffed teddy bear from Auntie Jennifer - one of our last years volunteers. The young man in the back ground of the photo is our hired armed guard or night watch man. The family did not want to risc anything. There were too many robberies lately, both adult women in the house had their purses snatched from them when they were walking home from church - however, it happened at 8 PM at night long after dark fall and something anyone should be avoiding.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Progress towards Production

OK, here is the short run down: Cameroon was singled out with praise by the latest UN report for having implemented behavior changes regarding HIV/AIDS. The sad news is Cameroon has lost US$8 Million in new Global Fund money. The Fund complained that monies from previous years have not been spend and are sitting in government’s bank accounts in Yaounde. At the same time, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment facilities are telling me that they are still waiting for the government to send money they had been promised.

AIDSfreeAFRICA is getting close to setting up production for an analytical reagent used in diagnostic for HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to have production started and set up in a manner that it can continue when I am leaving for the US January 24th. Coincidentally a COPAAP volunteer will be flying the same day same flight. So we can keep each other company until Morocco. She will be going home to Holland while I will be staying for 3 days to see Casablanca.

Right now I am sitting in the COPAAP office on the computer and at the same time I am waiting for the remaining 3 chemicals to arrive. I could have ordered them from Germany but our philosophy is to do as much business as possible here in Cameroon. I have a lot of faith in the capabilities of Cameroonians, but sometimes even I am are amazed what can be done. Although I admit, most things here take longer.

The Clinton Foundation is setting up a big program to prevent Mother-to-child transmission. That is preventing the transmission of AIDS from the pregnant women to her child at birth. It is gratifying to see a powerful organization with such good goals to move right into the heart of Cameroon.

One can think that getting pregnant while HIV positive should be avoided because the illness weakens the body already and a pregnancy adds stress to it all. However, at the Toronto AIDS conference two years ago I learned that this correlation does not hold true. In fact many mothers find pregnancy to be stabilizing their falling CD4 count numbers. And if the mother is properly medicated and eats well there is no negative effect to be expected from being HIV positive and pregnant. Luckily, Cameroon is a very food rich area. And all the food is fresh. There are plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Some women however, need financial support not only to pay for the drugs but also for food.

I love to hear from you. Please feel free to e-mail me at RRHodel@yahoo.com

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Arrived in Africa

Hello everyone,
this will be my first trip to Africa with the capacity to blog - to be in communication with you!
Please read it and respond. I look forward to hearing from everyone.
I made it into Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon "African Style" I slept the first night at the airports police departments metal bench. And I am glad I did. I was not picked up and it is too dangerous to ride a taxi at night in a city that I hardly know.
So, now I am at the Catholic Relieve Services Office blogging. Inbetween Kenneth and I went food shopping, frozen fish, pineapples, watermelon, papayas, limes, french bread - good stuff.
We ended up in a wedding processing down the street with music and dance and I got to kiss the bride and groom. Hope it will be contagious.

We will leave for Bamenda tomorrow. I will send you picktures of my now 4 year old Benwih. Last year she kept my upper boddy strength in shape by having me carry her around. I will try to post pictures of her. How appropriate. The first picture being of my very favorit child.

With heaps of love and peace
Check out our web site www.AIDSfreeAFRICA.org
Rolande

Thursday, November 01, 2007

TropIKA: WHO launches OA portal to tropical diseases research

The World Health Organization has launched TRopIKA Tropical Diseases Research to Foster Innovation & Knowledge Application.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Public Library of Science Launches Journal of Neglected Tropical Diseases

PLoS, the Public Library of Science, has just launched the peer-reviewed open access Journal of Neglected Tropical Diseases, according to their website the first open-access journal devoted to the world's most neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), such as elephantiasis, river blindness, leprosy, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and African sleeping sickness.

From the Guest Commentary in the inaugural issue by Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization:

The launch of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases marks yet another turning point in the long and notorious history of some of humanity's oldest diseases....

Equity is a fundamental principle of health development. Access to life-saving and health-promoting interventions should not be denied for unjust reasons, including an inability to pay. The free availability of leading research articles will benefit decision-makers and diseases control managers worldwide. It will also motivate scientists, both in developing and developed countries....

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Monday, October 29, 2007

MANDATE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO NIH-FUNDED RESEARCH

Press Release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access
www.taxpayeraccess.org

For immediate release
October 24, 2007

Contact:
Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121

MANDATE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO NIH-FUNDED RESEARCH
POISED TO BECOME LAW

Full U.S. Senate Approves Bill Containing Support for Access To
Taxpayer-Funded Research

Washington, D.C. ­ October 24, 2007 - The U.S. Senate last night approved
the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1710), including
a provision that directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to
strengthen its Public Access Policy by requiring rather than requesting
participation by researchers. The bill will now be reconciled with the House
Appropriations Bill, which contains a similar provision, in another step
toward support for public access to publicly funded research becoming United
States law.

³Last night¹s Senate action is a milestone victory for public access to
taxpayer-funded research,² said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding
member of the ATA). ³This policy sets the stage for researchers, patients,
and the general public to benefit in new and important ways from our
collective investment in the critical biomedical research conducted by the
NIH.²

Under a mandatory policy, NIH-funded researchers will be required to deposit
copies of eligible manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine¹s
online database, PubMed Central. Articles will be made publicly available no
later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The current NIH Public Access Policy, first implemented in 2005, is a
voluntary measure and has resulted in a de deposit rate of less than 5% by
individual investigators. The advance to a mandatory policy is the result of
more than two years of monitoring and evaluation by the NIH, Congress, and
the community.

³We thank our Senators for taking action on this important issue,² said Pat
Furlong, Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
³This level of access to NIH-funded research will impact the disease process
in novel ways, improving the ability of scientists to advance therapies and
enabling patients and their advocates to participate more effectively. The
advance is timely, much-needed, and ­ we anticipate ­ an indication of
increasingly enhanced access in future.²

³American businesses will benefit tremendously from improved access to NIH
research,² said William Kovacs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president for
environment, technology and regulatory affairs. ³The Chamber encourages the
free and timely dissemination of scientific knowledge produced by the NIH as
it will improve both the public and industry¹s ability to become better
informed on developments that impact them ­ and on opportunities for
innovation.² The Chamber is the world¹s largest business federation,
representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and
region.

³We welcome the NIH policy being made mandatory and thank Congress for
backing this important step,² said Gary Ward, Treasurer of the American
Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). ³Free and timely public access to
scientific literature is necessary to ensure that new discoveries are made
as quickly as feasible. It¹s the right thing to do, given that taxpayers
fund this research.² The ASCB represents 11,000 members and publishes the
highly ranked peer-reviewed journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Joseph added, ³On behalf of the taxpayers, patients, researchers, students,
libraries, universities, and businesses that pressed this bill forward with
their support over the past two years, the ATA thanks Congress for throwing
its weight behind the success of taxpayer access to taxpayer-funded
research.²

Negotiators from the House and Senate are expected to meet to reconcile
their respective bills this fall. The final, consolidated bill will have to
pass the House and the Senate before being delivered to the President at the
end of the year.


The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic,
research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to
the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to
urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research
become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the
American public. Details on the ATA may be found at
http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

Your thoughts on free / open / public databases in chemistry

From Peter Suber's Open Access News:

Your thoughts on free/open/public databases in chemistry



Antony Williams, Request for Input from the Community - Public Chemistry Databases, ChemSpider Blog, October 25, 2007.  Excerpt:

I will be writing an article in the next couple of months regarding the value of Public Chemistry Databases. I am going to write this article with a bias towards databases with “structure intelligence” - databases where chemical structures form a part of the accessible content.

Rich Apodaca has already blogged about  Thirty Two Free Chemistry Databases and of course I will be reviewing many of these. There are others that have popped up since Rich posted.

I am interested in your suggestions of online chemistry resources that you use and that you find of value....





Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blacksmith Institute: World's Worst Polluted Places

The Blacksmith Institute appears to share some of the goals and values of Chemists without borders.

Description from the website:
Founded in 1999, Blacksmith Institute's vision is a clean planet for our children. We develop and implement solutions for pollution-related problems in the developing world. We work cooperatively with partnerships of donors, governments, NGO's and others, and provide strategic, technical, and financial support to local champions as they strive to solve specific, pollution-related problems in their communities.

One of the projects of the Blacksmith Institute is listing the world's Top Ten polluted places, and looking for solutions for these places, a process which includes testing.

Perhaps someone from Blacksmith Institute might join us as a guest speaker at one of our teleconferences? Could they use some Chemists Without Borders volunteers?

US: Urgent Call to Action

From the Alliance for Taxpayer Access

URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Tell your Senator to OPPOSE amendments that strike or change the NIH public access provision in the FY08 Labor/HHS appropriations bill
--------------------------------

The Senate is currently considering the FY08 Labor-HHS Bill, which includes a provision (already approved by the House of Representatives and the full Senate Appropriations Committee), that directs the NIH to change its Public Access Policy so that participation is required (rather than requested) for researchers, and ensures free, timely public access to articles resulting from NIH-funded research. On Friday, Senator Inhofe (R-OK), filed two amendments (#3416 and #3417), which call for the language to either be stricken from the bill, or modified in a way that would gravely limit the policy’s effectiveness.

Amendment #3416 would eliminate the provision altogether. Amendment #3417 is likely to be presented to your Senator as a compromise that “balances” the needs of the public and of publishers. In reality, the current language in the NIH public access provision accomplishes that goal. Passage of either amendment would seriously undermine access to this important public resource, and damage the community’s ability to advance scientific research and discovery.

Please contact your Senators TODAY and urge them to vote “NO” on amendments #3416 and #3417. (Contact must be made before close of business on Monday, October 22). A sample email is provided for your use below. Feel free to personalize it, explaining why public access is important to you and your institution. Contact information and a tool to email your Senator are online at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/nih/2007senatecalltoaction.html. No time to write? Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be patched through to your Senate office.

If you have written in support before, or when you do so today, please inform the Alliance for Taxpayer Access. Contact Jennifer McLennan through jennifer@arl.org or by fax at (202) 872-0884.

Thanks for your continued efforts to support public access at the National Institutes of Health.

Chemists Without Borders is a member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access. The Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry Position Statement is available for download from the Chemists Without Borders home page.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Future of US Chemistry Research

Of interest? This book, The Future of US Chemistry Research is available for purchase, or free for download:

Description
Chemistry plays a key role in conquering diseases, solving energy problems, addressing environmental problems, providing the discoveries that lead to new industries, and developing new materials and technologies for national defense and homeland security. However, the field is currently facing a crucial time of change and is struggling to position itself to meet the needs of the future as it expands beyond its traditional core toward areas related to biology, materials science, and nanotechnology.

At the request of the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Research Council conducted an in-depth benchmarking analysis to gauge the current standing of the U.S. chemistry field in the world. The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges highlights the main findings of the benchmarking exercise.

Thanks to Laura Briggs on the CHMINFO.

Open Chemistry Web

Possible of interest: the Open Chemistry Web - a project to create a free, open and integrated chemistry search engine.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wired Science Interview. Cameron Sinclair: Architect | PBS

Wired Science . Cameron Sinclair: Architect | PBS

Check this out! Fascinating interview with TED prize winner. Using architecture, addresses the Kashmir Earthquake problem of no tents. Ironically, he says the majority of the plastic used for making tents is manufactured in Pakistan. One reason for the extreme shortage of available tents at that time was owing to the multitude of disaster occurring around the same time, including the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

This is quite mind-expanding. They also have an international network. Check it out. Do you have connections? How can we support one another? They have also built a mobile health clinic to combat HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have common interests.

American Chemical Society fighting open access

If you are a member of the American Chemical Society, please read this memo from an anonymous insider. Your society is fighting open access, and not for any reasons of principle, but rather to protect the extremely generous bonuses of top executives. Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News - please see OA News for Peter's comments and links.

Anonymous ACS memo:

More on executive bonuses at the ACS

This memo from "ACS Insider" has been sent directly to many librarians and university administrators, and to at least one public listserv, NASW-Freelance from the National Association of Science Writers. I received a copy from one of the recipients. I don't know anything about the pseudonymous author.

I've been an ACS [American Chemical Society] employee for many, many years, but I've grown concerned with the direction of the organization. I'm sending this email to alert you that ACS has grown increasingly corporate in its structure and focus. Management is much more concerned with getting bonuses and growing their salaries rather than doing what is best for membership. For instance, Madeleine Jacobs now pulling in almost $1 million in salary and bonuses. That's almost 3X what Alan Leshner makes over at AAAS, and almost double what Drew Gilpin Faust makes to lead Harvard.

I think Madeleine is smart, but I'm not quite sure if she's in the same category as Dr. Faust. She doesn't even have a PhD!

What really concerns me is a move by ACS management to undermine the open-access movement. Rudy Baum has been leading the fight with several humorous editorials -- one in which he referred to open-access in the pages of C&EN as "socialized science." ACS has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in membership money to hire a company to lobby against open-access.

What troubles me the most is when ACS management decided to hire Dezenhall Resources to fight open-access. Nature got hold of some internal ACS emails written by Brian Crawford that discussed how Dezenhall could help us undermine open-access. Dezenhall later created a group called Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine (PRISM), which has this silly argument that open-access means "no more peer-review."

If you're wondering why ACS is fighting this, it's because people like Rudy Baum, Brian Crawford and other ACS managers receive bonuses based on how much money the publishing division generates. Hurt the publishing revenue; you hurt their bonuses.

I'm hoping that sending out this email will get people to force ACS executives to become more transparent in how they act and spend membership money. Not to mention their crazy need for fatter salaries.

It's time for some change. If you want to check out the sources for this information, there is a wiki site that has all the articles and documents outlining what I've just written. You can find it here.

Those of inside ACS know that it's time for things to change. But management won't alter their behavior. The money is just too good.

Friday, September 28, 2007

FDA at work?

Animal rights groups might be interested in this...

A choice quote from MSNBC today:

“In many ways, rats and mice get greater protection as research subjects in the United States than do humans,” said Arthur L. Caplan, chairman of the department of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Animal research centers have to register with the federal government, keep track of subject numbers, have unannounced spot inspections and address problems speedily or risk closing, none of which is true in human research, Mr. Caplan said.

Comments?

ELMO

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Buy a Laptop, Save the World: $400 will buy two laptops -- one for you, one for a poor child in the developing, 9/24/2007

It's finally happening, One Laptop Per Child, and you can help!

Watch today's interview with Nicholas Negroponte on Good Morning, America. Professor Negroponte is the founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. He is currently on leave from MIT, where he was co-founder and director of the MIT Media Laboratory, and the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Technology.

See also these current articles in Newsweek and Wired.

Friday, September 21, 2007

AIDSfreeAFRICA gets 501(c)3 status

Congratulations to AIDSfreeAFRICA and Dr Rolande Hodel, its founder, on the announcement of the successful approval of 501(c)3 status. AIDSfreeAFRICA is now an official non-profit, public benefit organization. Donors are therefore assured that their donations can be deducted legally from their income taxes.

Tapping the Sun: Africa

Earth at night: Compare Africa with the industrialized and industrializing nations. No lights except in a few spots. No electricity. See also Energy key to Africa's prosperity.

Then see the cover story in C&EN, August 27, 2007, Volume 85, Number 35, pp. 16-22, "Tapping The Sun: Basic chemistry drives development of new low-cost solar cells". One thing Africa has is plenty of sunshine.
  • What are the opportunities for implementing solar technologies in Africa?
  • What would it take to have solar technologies manufactured in Africa instead of imported, so the profits go to Africa?
We are increasingly dependent upon electricity. Even paper towel dispensers in many public toilets in the US have infra-red sensors and are electrically powered (none of that manual stuff for us). How can Africa become a serious participant and competitor in the world marketplace without electricity? In the meantime, profits from Africa's resources go mostly to others.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Global Warming

I just finished watching "An Inconvenient Truth." Does anyone know where to find the sawtooth graph about CO2 emissions?

The video of the earth from space was pretty amazing, too.

ELMO

Friday, July 27, 2007

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

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

HOUSE BACKS TAXPAYER-FUNDED RESEARCH ACCESS
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.

Bego

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?

Bego

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.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mindmashup: SPARC Student Video Contest

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) invites students to participate in Mindmashup: a video contest to illustrate the value of information sharing.

The winner will receive $1,000, a public screening and a “Sparky Award”.

Perhaps the Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry position statement and initiatives such as Useful Chemistry could be a good starting point for developing such a video?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Water wars and Darfur

Once again, the lack of water is the cause of disaster. In Darfur, the lack of water, as well as the cutting of trees has rapidly caused environmental harm.

On the brighter side, the implementation of efficient stoves to make clay bricks has done some good:


In the Es Sallam camp next to El Fasher, a U.S. aid group, International Lifeline, has introduced a redesigned stove that uses up to 80 percent less wood. Nearly three-quarters of the camp's families now use the stoves, said Wahid Jahangiri, an Iranian who spent weeks in Es Sallam teaching women how to operate them.

"We started this as an environmental project and we're only beginning to realize the whole social and cultural impact it's having," said David Welf, the aid group's director.


You can read the whole article here.

ELMO

Sunday, June 17, 2007

How Open Access Chemistry Helps Developing Countries

Excerpt from Peter Suber's Open Access News blog, Sunday, June 17, 2007 - please see OA News for the links:

Ales Fajgelj, Assuring Quality of Analytical Measurement Results: The IUPAC Role, Chemistry International, May/June 2007. Chemistry International is the news magazine of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Over the past 30 years the value of world trade has risen dramatically. In 2005 it amounted to almost USD 17 trillion.... A large proportion of this trade is dependent upon chemical analyses, since food, pharmaceutical products, medicines, ores, and chemical products in general represent the largest groups of trading items. To gain acceptance in the trading process, the quality of analytical measurement results needs to be assured and demonstrated....

...A careful look into the distribution of the most influential organizations and bodies related to standardization and harmonization in the area of analytical chemistry reveals that there is a strong concentration in the northern hemisphere. The fact is that barriers of trade exist and are still growing between developed and developing economies. One reason for this is the standardization and application of very strong quality requirements in the accreditation process, without provision of the required assistance and support to developing countries. In this respect, the role of independent, non-commercial, non-profit scientific organizations like IUPAC is of utmost importance. The second important way of overcoming such differences is by open access to scientific literature (e.g., via the Internet). The IUPAC journal Pure and Applied Chemistry is a valuable example.Open Access News blog:

Friday, June 15, 2007

CA water worries

From The SF Chronicle:


The Sonoma County Water Agency was directed by the State Water Resources Control Board on Wednesday to reduce its water diversions from the Russian River by 15 percent to protect the fall spawning of salmon. That order spurred Thursday's restrictions, which will be implemented by individual water districts and other entities that get water from the agency.
While flows in the Russian River are down because of the dry winter, Sonoma's situation is complicated by reduced flows into one of its reservoirs, Lake Mendocino, because of changed federal licensing requirements for a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. hydroelectric power plant upstream.

In Santa Clara County, about half of the water supply comes from reservoirs and aquifers and the other half from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Supplies from the delta have been cut because of restrictions at pumping stations to protect the delta smelt, a tiny fish on the brink of extinction.


It looks like next year could be pretty bad if CA doesn't have an above average rainfall...

ELMO

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Two U.S. Government reports call for public access to agency-funded research

Energy Department and Centers for Disease Control documents call for open public access to research

ALLIANCE FOR TAXPAYER ACCESS
Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
May 3, 2007

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications,
SPARC
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 631-8854

Washington, D.C. – May 3, 2007 – Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) highlight growing recognition of the need for public access to taxpayer-funded research. Both the CDC Professional Judgment for Fiscal Year 2008 and a workshop report from the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) indicate clearly the importance to each agency of having agency-funded research made openly available.

The CDC Professional Judgment, which was submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations, Labor/HHS Subcommittee on April 20, 2007 by CDC Director Julie Gerberding, includes public access at the top of a list of critical needs, calling for:

“Open access to CDC’s research publications for other scientists and the public (rapid, free, and unrestricted online access) to CDC sponsored peer reviewed research and access to ‘data in progress’ among scientists, especially during emergencies like SARS…”

The CDC Professional Judgment is online at http://www.fundcdc.org/documents/CDC_FY2008_PJ.pdf and will be considered by the House Appropriations Committee in making final appropriations decisions for 2008.

The Department of Energy workshop report is the product of a meeting organized by OSTI to “discuss and develop a roadmap for advancing science and technology by accelerating the sharing of scientific and technical knowledge.” Entitled Workshop Panel Report on Accelerating the Spread of Knowledge Science and Technology - Examination of the Needs and Opportunities, the report states:

"… because scientific discovery is a cumulative process, with new knowledge building upon earlier findings, it is imperative that unnecessary barriers to sharing the immediate results of research should be removed. In this regard, the Panel supports and encourages the principle that publicly funded unclassified research should be deposited in stable, freely accessible public archives and made freely available as soon as possible after acceptance for publication. This will clearly advance the return on research investment and foster the rapid diffusion of knowledge."

Among the panel’s list of eight key conclusions is that, “The spread of knowledge will be accelerated if DOE-funded unclassified research results are made available expeditiously in a publicly accessible system." The report is online at http://www.osti.gov/communications/publications/2007/workshop.pdf.

The CDC and DOE documents bolster the case for recent proposals to provide for public access to taxpayer-funded research. More information is online at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

###

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing entities that support open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles on taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

Monday, April 23, 2007

arsenic-source : Discussion group on the source/mobilisation of arsenic in groundwater, in W. Bengal India / Bangladesh & elsewhere

arsenic-source : Discussion group on the source/mobilisation of arsenic in groundwater, in W. Bengal India / Bangladesh & elsewhere

Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh/India

Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh/India: Is any of us already familiar with this site?

Arsenic impact on wildlife; human consequences

To what extent does arsenic in groundwater in places like Bangladesh impact wildlife an, consequently, humans? Do humans eat animals who have eaten contaminated plants, for example, and what are the consequences? Are species threatened by this contamination?

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online: This is a very comprehensive web site, easily searched for funding sources for individuals.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kiva Microfunds' Success Has Roots in Silicon Valley

PND News Alert
March 25, 2007

The following article has been posted to Philanthropy News Digest:

Kiva Microfunds' Success Has Roots in Silicon Valley
A large part of the online microlender's success is attributable to its ability to harness the collective power of the Silicon Valley tech community.... More»

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Petition for Public Access to Publicly Funded Research in the United States

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has launched a Petition for Publicly Funded Research in the United States. Please sign!

For more information, please join us for a special teleconference meeting on Thursday, April 5, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / noon Eastern Time, when Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing Academic Resources Coalition, will join us to talk about the Federal Research Public Access Act.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Open Access, Open Source Speaker Series: Heather Joseph, Peter Suber, Jean-Claude Bradley

Please join Chemists Without Borders for a special series of teleconference meetings on Open Access and Open Source. For more background, please see the link from the Chemists Without Borders website to our Open Chemistry Position Statement.

Thursday, April 5 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
Heather Joseph: Federal Research Public Access Act


Heather Joseph, Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), will talk about the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). FRPAA is anticipated to be re-introduced this spring. The purpose of this bill is to require all U.S. Federal research granting agencies with portfolios of over $100 million (11 agencies altogether) to develop policies requiring open access to the results of the research they fund. FRPAA has been endorsed by many higher education leaders and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access. Chemists Without Borders is a member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access; should we support FRPAA?
More information about FRPAA can be found on the SPARC website.

As the Executive Director of SPARC, Heather Joseph is very involved in advocacy for FRPAA. Before joining SPARC, Heather worked for many years in the publishing industry, and was formerly Executive Director of the BioOne publishing cooperative.

Thursday, June 7, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
Peter Suber: Open Access Questions & Answers

Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge Project, author of Open Access News
Peter Suber, one of the world's leading academics in the area of open access, will join Chemists Without Borders for a question and answer session on any aspect of open access.

Thursday, September 6 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
Jean-Claude Bradley: Open Source Chemistry

Chemists Without Borders' own Jean-Claude Bradley, Coordinator for E-Learning at the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University, will talk about the Useful Chemistry approach to open source chemistry, founded by Bradley.

Chemists Without Borders: participation in this special series is the same as for regular teleconferences. Watch for a reminder. Not a member? No problem - contact us and let us know you would like to participate. There is no charge, other than regular long distance rates, to join the teleconference.

Coal Power Plants

From an MSNBC article on coal fired power plants:

Companies say the new coal plants are better than old ones, though both use the same approach: pulverizing coal, then burning it in huge boilers to power giant turbines. The new $1.1 billion MidAmerican facility will be one of the nation's biggest, with 790 megawatts of capacity. Its boilers and pulverizers will devour 400 tons of coal every hour, 3.5 million tons a year, Sokol says. Combined with an existing plant next door, it will require a fresh train of coal every 16 to 17 hours; each train will be nearly 1.5 miles long and lug 135 cars about 650 miles from Wyoming's Powder River Basin.


Wow. That's a lot of coal, and that's just one power plant. Anyone thought about what we should do try to reduce the rising demand for electricity?

Food for thought.

ELMO

Monday, February 12, 2007

Biology Goes Open Source

Biology Goes Open Source
Matthew Herper and Robert Langreth
Forbes February 12, 2007

Excerpt:
Some of the world's biggest drug companies are finding that their genetic research is worth more to them if they give it away.

Novartis (nyse: NVS - news - people ), the Basel, Switzerland, drug giant, has helped uncover which of the 20,000 genes identified by the Human Genome Project are likely to be associated with diabetes. But rather than hoard this information, as drug firms have traditionally done, it is making it available for free on the World Wide Web.

"It will take the entire world to interpret these data," says Novartis research head Mark Fishman. "We figure we will benefit more by having a lot of companies look at these data than by holding it secret."

hmmm....if it'll take the entire world to interpret the data, does this sound like there could be a role here for Chemists Without Borders?

Thanks to Peter Suber of Open Access News.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

$100 computer

Here is another approach to personal computing for those who cannot afford a PC.

ELMO

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hello from Sweden

1Posted by: "Nuria" nuria_parera@yahoo.com 1 nuria_parera 2

Sat Feb 3, 2007 4:50 am (PST)

Hej
My name is Nuria Parera Pera, I just found this group, and I think is
a really good iniciative. Im a PhD in organic Chemistry, and not long
time ago I got in contact with Mangosteen, I don't know if you know
this webpage, otherwise you should visit it:
http://www.mangosee.com/mangosteen/index.htm3
You might find a very interesting subjects there.

Best regards,

Núria

Friday, February 02, 2007

EU Petition in Support of Guaranteed Access to Published Results of Research

Please sign the Petition in Support of Guaranteed Access to Published Results of Research

This is an initiative to support a European Union policy requiring open access to the published results of research funded by any member of the EU. Organizers welcome international as well as EU signatories. So far, there are over 16,000 signatories, including European universities, research organizations, individual researchers, libraries and library associations.

Details about the initiative can be found on Peter Suber's Open Access News

The Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry Position Statement is posted on our homepage.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Used equipment available

I have several older (10 years or so) probes for chemistry labs with software if anyone could use them. This is from LabWorks and may include a limited colorimeter, pH probes, temperature probe and others. I have not yet done a complete inventory. The software requires Windows 95.

Contact me directly if you are interested. Remove the $$ from the email: $$lon$gley@Uni$$ty.edu$

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Opposition to Open Access: alert to misinformation

Here is an excerpt from last week's Nature, Jim Giles' article PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access, courtesy of Open Access News:

The author of Nail 'Em! Confronting High-Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Businesses is not the kind of figure normally associated with the relatively sedate world of scientific publishing. Besides writing the odd novel, Eric Dezenhall has made a name for himself helping companies and celebrities protect their reputations, working for example with Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron chief now serving a 24-year jail term for fraud.

Although Dezenhall declines to comment on Skilling and his other clients, his firm, Dezenhall Resources, was also reported by Business Week to have used money from oil giant ExxonMobil to criticize the environmental group Greenpeace. "He's the pit bull of public relations," says Kevin McCauley, an editor at the magazine O'Dwyer's PR Report.

Now, Nature has learned, a group of big scientific publishers has hired the pit bull to take on the free-information movement, which campaigns for scientific results to be made freely available. Some traditional journals, which depend on subscription charges, say that open-access journals and public databases of scientific papers such as the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) PubMed Central, threaten their livelihoods.

From e-mails passed to Nature, it seems Dezenhall spoke to employees from Elsevier, Wiley and the American Chemical Society at a meeting arranged last July by the Association of American Publishers (AAP)....

The consultant advised them to focus on simple messages, such as "Public access equals government censorship". He hinted that the publishers should attempt to equate traditional publishing models with peer review....

Dezenhall also recommended joining forces with groups that may be ideologically opposed to government-mandated projects such as PubMed Central, including organizations that have angered scientists. One suggestion was the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Washington DC, which has used oil-industry money to promote sceptical views on climate change. Dezenhall estimated his fee for the campaign at $300,000–500,000.

In an enthusiastic e-mail sent to colleagues after the meeting, Susan Spilka, Wiley's director of corporate communications, said Dezenhall explained that publishers had acted too defensively on the free-information issue and worried too much about making precise statements. Dezenhall noted that if the other side is on the defensive, it doesn't matter if they can discredit your statements, she added: "Media massaging is not the same as intellectual debate.

Comment

Subsequent articles have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, and Scientific American, and a number of bloggers, myself included, have commented. The best place to follow the discussion is Open Access News.

Today's Open Access News reports a letter from the American Association of Publishers' / Scholarly Publishing Division, responding to which shows that they either don't get it, or don't care. In this letter, AAP/SPS claims that publishers "manage and fund the peer review proces". Manage, yes. Fund? Get real...peer reviewers are not paid, and profitable publishers do not fund the publishing process, they are funded by it.

AAP - if you'd like to shake a reputation for deliberate misinformation - trying to pretend you are funding something you are actually deriving profits from, is not the best approach.

The American Chemical Society is one of the members of this association.