Finding Cures for Tropical Diseases: Is Open Source an Answer?

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States
PLoS Medicine (Impact Factor: 14). 01/2005; 1(3):e56. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0010056
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Tropical Disease Initiative will be a Web-based, community- wide effort where scientists from the public and private sectors join together to discover new treatments.

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Available from: Arti K Rai, Aug 20, 2014
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    • "The inputs of the broader community led to both changes in direction of the research and an acceleration of the science, leading to the publication in 2011 of a solution to the problem suitable for scale-up. While this was an important proof-of-concept, it begged the question of whether similar ideas could be applied to drug discovery, where the intellectual property landscape is more complicated, and the long-term funding regime less clear; such an idea had been mooted or started but a full campaign never tried (Maurer et al. 2004; Bradley et al. 2008). There have been major moves to make the drug discovery process more collaborative, such as via Product Development Partnerships like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) or other ventures (Norman et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Open science is a new concept for the practice of experimental laboratory-based research, such as drug discovery. The authors have recently gained experience in how to run such projects and here describe some straightforward steps others may wish to take towards more openness in their own research programmes. Existing and inexpensive online tools can solve many challenges, while some psychological barriers to the free sharing of all data and ideas are more substantial.
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    • ", science [22] and medicine [23]. Why not apply what we have learned from the information technology revolution to nanotechnology as well? "
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    • "This is particularly important when a new drug or treatment has the possibility to save lives in the developing world, but cannot be mass-manufactured due to patents and copyrights. Thus, some have prosed opensource strategies to solving medical problems in the developing world (Kapczynski et al., 2005; Maurer et al., 2004). Finally, the application of open sourcing in fields such as nanotechnology (Bruns, 2001; Mushtaq and Pearce, 2012) and appropriate technology for international sustainable development (Pearce and Mushtaq, 2009; Buitenhuis et al., 2010) were found to be promising. "
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    ABSTRACT: The rise of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology as a driver of rural electrification in the developing world and a contributor to climate change mitigation suggests that innovations enhancing PV efficiency and scalability could make considerable strides in reducing both poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. The nearly global access to the solar resource coupled to innovation-driven decreases in the costs of PV provides a path for a renewable energy source to accelerate sustainable development. Open-source software development has proven to produce reliable and innovative computer code at lower costs than proprietary software through sharing development responsibility with a large community of invested individuals. Concepts of open-source design have been applied to other fields in an attempt to reap the same benefits realized within software development; however, applying open-source strategies to solar PV research is uncommon. This paper reviews and examines how open-source design can be utilized to catalyze rapid innovation in the PV industry. The results show how successful open design and development methods can be created and utilized by identifying business models that provide PV researchers, turnkey suppliers and solar PV module manufacturers with the opportunity to utilize open-source design principles to accelerate innovation.
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