Archon X Prize For Genomics

An October 4th posting on the Methuselah Foundation Blog announced a $10 million genomics research prize for DNA sequencing:
“We at the Methuselah Foundation are pleased to note the launch of the X Prize Foundation’s latest initiative: a $10 million genomics research prize aimed at speeding the advance of DNA sequencing. Like the cost of processing power for the computing industry, the cost of DNA sequencing is a marker for broad progress in the biotechnology revolution: the cheaper it becomes, the more can be done to advance medicine, health and longevity.”

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: New Developments and Controversies

When an embryonic stem cell research advance occurs, stories are given a superficial, brass band treatment by the media. Consequently, many people in the United States and elsewhere foster false beliefs regarding the awesome potential of embryonic stem cells for the development of new medical procedures involving regenerative medicine.

These misperceptions have societal consequences and seriously distort the bio-political debate over human cloning and embryonic stem cell research. As a result, public and private funding of embryonic and adult stem cell therapies research is detrimentally impacted.

Developing human embryonic stem cell therapy could prevent spending time and money to develop therapeutic cloning (which provides, at least in theory, perfectly immunocompatible, yet specific, tissues). People who only casually follow the research in the media are not aware of this advantage of embryonic stem cell therapy.

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Tips, Tutorials, and Terminology

Tutorials and terminology resources from the Human Genome Project
“The following tutorials are targeted to first-time users of some of the bioinformatics resources described in Genome Database Guide. Each tutorial includes step-by-step instructions and screen shots covering basic skills needed to use each Web site. Links to help files and other Web-based instructions for learning more about the different features of each bioinformatic tool are also provided.”

BITOLA – Biomedical Discovery Support System

BITOLA – Biomedical Discovery Support System
created by Dimitar Hristovski and Borut Peterlin
“BITOLA is an interactive literature-based biomedical discovery support system. The purpose of the system is to help the biomedical researchers make new discoveries by discovering potentially new relations between biomedical concepts. The set of concepts currently contains MeSH (Medical Subject Heading), which is used to index Medline, and around 22000 human genes from HUGO and LocusLink. The potentially new relations are discovered by mining the Medline database (currently around 11000000 citations from 1966 to end of 2001).
To make the system more suitable for disease candidate-gene discovery and to decrease the number of candidate relations, we integrated background knowledge about the chromosomal location of the starting disease as well as the chromosomal location of the candidate genes from resources such as LocusLink, HUGO and OMIM. The BITOLA system can also be used as an alternative way of searching the Medline database.”