Nature News discusses the controversy surrounding India's Open Source Drug Discovery project's April 11 announcement that its researchers have "comprehensively mapped, compiled, and verified the genome of Myobacterium tuberculosis," and was the first to make it publicly available. Criticism of the project is widespread, Nature reports, and is subject to three main arguments: both the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK and the Broad Institute in the US have made M. tuberculosis genomes publicly available, the OSDD has no plans to subject their annotations to peer-review, and an undisclosed amount of the project was completed in about four months by about 400 college students. "Annotation is a challenging job requiring specialists, and I doubt if students with little experience can do this," John Quackenbush at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute tells Nature. "It is unfortunate the Indian group made these claims before outsiders had a chance to review the students' data. The worst thing you can do to your country is to oversell your science." Some researchers, however, have expressed their support for the initiative. Stanford's Gary Schoolnik tells Nature that his group supports the Indian approach, including having student annotate the genome.
Students' Sequence Won't Face Peer Review
Jun 11, 2010