Have you started noticing a little symbol called "Creative Commons" showing up on numerous on-line publications, including this blog? This little icon is being adopted more and more by publishers on the Internet, especially in the scientific community. Creative Commons is helping to guarantee the free and open access to vital scientific information and publications.
A year ago, some enterprising lads at the IT University of Copenhagen released a recipe of beer under the Creative Commons license. Because of the license, anybody that made money from selling the beer would need to give them credit and publish any changes to the recipe under a similar license. It was a novel idea and got some press from both the Open Source and the beer brewing communities. But just like many applications in the Open Source world, getting an Open Source beer recipe is the first (and usually easiest) step in a long, involved, sometimes unpleasant, process. And I hope that anybody making Open Source anything takes criticism really well....
Many commonly used genome browsers display sequence annotations and related attributes as horizontal data tracks that can be toggled on and off according to user preferences. Most genome browsers use only simple keyword searches and limit the display of detailed annotations to one chromosomal region of the genome at a time. We have employed concepts, methodologies, and tools that were developed for the display of geographic data to develop a Genome Spatial Information System (GenoSIS) for displaying genomes spatially, and interacting with genome annotations and related attribute data.
What if you could combine online data from multiple sources to create a customized, interactive Web application that could keep your supporters in the know without requiring them to visit more than one site? And what if you could do so using free, readily available tools, eliminating the need to build an expensive custom solution from the ground up? That's the idea behind hybrid online applications known as mashups.
With the advances in DNA sequencer-based technologies, it has become possible to automate several steps of the genotyping process leading to increased throughput. To efficiently handle the large amounts of genotypic data generated and help with quality control, there is a strong need for a software system that can help with the tracking of samples and capture and management of data at different steps of the process.
The Internet is a relatively new tool for science (relative to a tool like the microscope). The Internet was orginally created by scientists to enhance real time collaboration between scientists. Today, scientific information is prolific on the Internet and with the advent of new technologies and techniques such as Blogs, Wikis, RSS and other such technobable collectively known as Web 2.0, scientific collaboration and information consumption will explode. Science and all other knowledge professions can take advantage of Web 2.0 to advance both pure and applied research to limits not seen since the advent of electricity.
An ode to all of those that must suffer the slings and arrows of the not so perfect world of LIMS. It does not matter whether your software is large or small, old or young, it is guaranteed to have the ubiquitous Bugglet.
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