“The sequence of the human genome, completed in 2001, was supposed to quickly reveal the secrets of health and disease. Instead, it showed that human bodies are more complicated than anyone realized. Disease is usually caused not by one bad gene, but by subtle variations in dozens or hundreds of genes working with and against each other in vast networks.
This discovery delivered a reality check to genome scientist Eric Schadt. Pharmaceutical giant Merck had spent hundreds of millions of dollars…”
Abstract: The core feature of trusts—holding property for the benefit of others—is well suited to constructing a research community that treats reagents as public goods.
[From the body of the article:] “Under an open science trust, reagents are treated as a public-good resource governed by principles that promote the public interest, in this case, open science. Our open science trust agreement codifies these public-good principles. Under its terms, a recipient of research reagents becomes a “trustee” of the reagents. Trustees are bound by principles that specifically prohibit filing any patent claims that would restrict use of the reagents by others. The result is to create and expand an open science community connected by a common commitment to the foundational aims of the reagent generators.
A trust is a legal relationship whereby one party—called the trustee—is given control over property but must use it for the benefit of others—called the beneficiaries. In this regard, a trust contrasts with direct legal ownership over property, which allows owners to use the property for their own ends and to prevent others from using or benefiting from it. That is how we normally think about tangible goods such as real estate and intangible ones such as patented biomedical inventions.
A trust places a duty on those who possess entrusted assets to manage those assets for the benefit of particular third parties or, in the case of charitable trusts, in furtherance of particular objects that benefit the public. Trusts are created by appointing trustees under a legal document that enumerates specific obligations in dealing with trust property. Private trusts—those with individual beneficiaries—are often used for tax and estate planning purposes. Charitable trusts, by contrast, are dedicated to serving the public, as opposed to particular individuals, and must have definite charitable objects that guide the trustee’s use of trust property. In effect, the “public” constitutes the beneficiary of a charitable trust. Charitable trusts are often administered by a group of trustees whose joint efforts to further the aims of the trust can foster a communal sense of purpose….”
“The Health Research Alliance, a collaborative member organization of nonprofit research funders, is committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research to improve human health….The HRA partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to enable HRA member-funded awardees to deposit their publications into PubMed Central (PMC) with an embargo no longer than 12 months….”
“Drug discovery resources in academia and industry are not used efficiently, to the detriment of industry and society. Duplication could be reduced, and productivity could be increased, by performing basic biology and clinical proofs of concept within open access industry-academia partnerships. Chemical biologists could play a central role in this effort….In summary, the development of new medicines is being hindered by the way in which academia and industry advance innovative targets. By generating freely available chemical and clinical probes and performing open-access science, the overall system will produce a wider range of clinically validated targets for the same total resource. This is arguably the most effective way to spur the development of treatments for unmet needs.”
“The drug discovery process is losing productivity to the detriment of the global economy and human health. The greatest productivity gains in the sector can be achieved by solving the fundamental scientific problems limiting the progression of compounds through clinical trials. These problems must be addressed through a combination of ‘blue sky’ and targeted research on priority issues, perhaps defined within a ‘grand challenges’ framework. For many reasons, targeted research should be performed in PPPs [public–private partnerships] that release information into the public domain immediately, with no restriction on use.”
“The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC; http://www.thesgconline.org/) is a public-private partnership that places the three-dimensional structures of proteins of relevance to human health into the public domain without restriction on use. Over the past 3 years, the SGC has deposited the structures of more than 550 proteins from its Target List (http://www.thesgconline.org/structures/about.php) into the Protein DataBank (PDB); this accounts for about one-quarter of the new structures of human proteins in the PDB over this period (‘new’ is defined as <95% sequence identity to proteins whose structures were already available in the PDB) and the majority of the new structures from the human parasites that cause malaria, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis. Over the next 4 years, the SGC is committing to determining the structures of another 600 proteins from its Target List, including eight human integral membrane proteins.
The SGC has been releasing the coordinates for all the SGC structures into the PDB immediately after they meet the SGC quality criteria (http://www.thesgconline.org/structures/sgc_structure_criteria.php), even if the ultimate intention is to describe the work in the peer-reviewed literature. This data release policy, which has often meant that coordinates were available for several months before the manuscript was even written, has not limited the ability of our scientists to publish….”
“The SGC is engaged in pre-competitive research to facilitate the discovery of new medicines. As part of its mission the SGC is generating reagents and knowledge related to human proteins and proteins from human parasites. The SGC believes that its output will have maximal benefit if released into the public domain without restriction on use, and thus has adopted the following Open Access policy.
The SGC and its scientists are committed to making their research outputs (materials and knowledge) available without restriction on use. This means that the SGC will promptly place its results in the public domain and will not agree to file for patent protection on any of its research outputs. It will seek the same commitment from any research collaborator….”
“The Open Source Malaria project is trying a different approach to curing malaria. Guided by open source principles, everything is open and anyone can contribute.
This Landing Page aggregates the most recent activity in Open Source Malaria. Action items are on the To Do List and experiments from all contributors are recorded in the Lab Notebooks. Most current research is on a very promising set of molecules known as Series 4. If you’d like to get involved, go right ahead, or get in touch with a member of the consortium (click on “Join the Team” below). In open source research all data and ideas are freely shared, anyone may participate as an equal partner and there will be no patents – think “Linux for Malaria Research” (FAQ).…”
“The Open Material Transfer Agreement (OpenMTA) is a simple, standardized legal tool that enables individuals and organizations to share their materials on an open basis….Developed as a collaborative effort led by the BioBricks Foundation and the OpenPlant Initiative, with input from researchers, technology transfer professionals, social scientists, lawyers, and other stakeholders from across the globe, the OpenMTA reflects the values of open communities and the practical realities of technology transfer….”
presenting the first edition of “GMS Ophthalmology Cases – An Open Access Journal” (GMS OC) we take the opportunity to reflect on whether it is worthwhile to found yet another case report journal. As for GMS OCOA, it is the open access quality of publishing that is original and pertinent to case reporting. Compared to subscription journals case reports published via “open access” achieve a wider reach, because they are more likely to be located and because they are downloaded more frequently. In subscription journals case reports are usually difficult to publish. Most editors give citation impact priority. Nevertheless, the educational nature of case reports means an important reference library to clinicians and researchers alike. For that reason GMS OC is dedicated to case reports but refined by the feature of barrier-free access. The full text version is readable and downloadable free of charge, including images and even videos. The latter may be especially helpful to illustrate surgical interventions. There is no copyright transfer from the author to the publisher! Costs are an important barrier amongst authors and readers of case reports alike. We are in a situation to avoid publishing fees altogether, at least within the first year of opening. Thereafter a moderate fee will be claimed. The publisher, German Medical Science, exponent and part of the “German National Library of Medicine”, is a non-profit organization, dedicated to distribute research results of the medical science worldwide (see: http://www.egms.de/en/terms.htm). Highly secure servers of “German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI)”, guarantee a sustained access and referencing of papers and data. GMS OC will be screened by MEDLINE and will collect impact factor credits….”