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

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States
PLoS Medicine (Impact Factor: 14.43). 01/2005; 1(3):e56. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0010056
Source: PubMed


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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    • "feature allows community users to request modeling of additional complete genomes as our computational resources allow. This feature has been used, for example, to support the Tropical Disease Initiative ( (37–40) "
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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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    ABSTRACT: Despite being an extremely active area for patent applications, nanotechnology development is being impaired by current intellectual property law. In contrast to other emerging fields at their times, nanotechnology was born as the Bayh–Dole Act enabled universities to lock down fundamental research effectively preventing open competition. Both technical complexity and bureaucratic mishandling of nanotechnology patent applications have created a dense patent thicket of overlapping claims and rights. This intellectual property tragedy restricts downstream innovation by preventing development of more complex technologies due to exorbitant transaction costs. This article addresses this tragedy with the application of the free and open-source paradigm from software development as open-source methodologies will both accelerate nanotechnology innovation and improve the social return from public investment in nanotechnology research.
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