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Bill Introduced, NIH Fogarty Center, Tripos, UB, OmniViz

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Bill Introduced to Eliminate Copyright from Publicly Funded Research

On June 26, Representative Martin Sabo (D-MN) introduced a bill that would require research funded by the US government to be freely available without copyright restrictions.

The Sabo Bill, HR 2613, “To amend title 17, United States Code, to exclude from copyright protection works resulting from scientific research substantially funded by the Federal Government,” is also called the Public Access to Science Act of 2003. It is co-sponsored by representative Martin Frost (D-TX) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

“The United States Government funds basic research with the intention and the belief that the new ideas and discoveries that result will improve the lives and welfare of the people of the United States and around the world,” said Sabo in his remarks to the House of Representatives when introducing the bill. “Our government spends $45 billion a year to support scientific and medical research whose product is new knowledge for the public benefit. We must remember that government funded research belongs to, and should be readily available to, every person in the United States. Lifting restrictions that prevent the widespread sharing of federally funded research can only speed scientific advancement.”

Further information on the bill is available at this link: http://thomas.loc.gov. At press time, the full text of the bill was not posted.



NIH Fogarty Center Launches Health Informatics Program

The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health has launched a new program to fund international informatics training programs as collaborations between the US and developing countries.


FIC has issued a request for applications for the program, called Informatics Training for Global Health, which involves three NIH Institutes: the National Library of Medicine, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.


The financial commitment from FIC and its partners is approximately $1.5 million in the first year to support up to six five-year training programs.


The RFA is available at http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TW-03-008.html.


Tripos Partners with ChanTest on ‘Lead Rescue’ Software

Tripos and ChanTest, an ion channel platform company, will collaborate on the development of new software to predict which drug compounds are likely to produce cardiac liability due to blockage of the hERG ion channel, the companies said last week.

The model will also predict which chemical features may be corrected in drugs already having a cardiac liability, the companies said, describing this feature as a “lead rescue” service.

The predictive model is expected to save time and expense in the drug development process by shifting the identification of hERG ion channel liabilities upstream and reducing attrition rates in clinical trials.

Tripos will select and provide compounds for testing by ChanTest and will develop the predictive model and use it to examine data from ChanTest’s analysis of lead candidates to identify any hERG ion channel liability.



UB Hosts Bioinformatics Summer School for High School Students

The University at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) is introducing nine high school students to the basics of bioinformatics this summer through its two-week Summer High School Workshop in Computational Science, which runs through July 11.

The workshop will offer an introduction to computer programming, sequence alignment, and instruction on searching the Arabidopsis genome database, UB said. Several of the students’ teachers are also taking part in the workshop.

“This workshop is preparing students for what molecular biology will look like in the next five to ten years,” said Bruce Pitman, vice provost of information technology at UB and a coordinator of the workshop.


OmniViz Taps InfoCom for Japanese Distribution

OmniViz has named Infocom of Tokyo as the Japanese distributor for its drug discovery and genomics visualization software.

Under the agreement, Infocom will sell and support the latest version of OmniViz software, OmniViz
Platinum v.3.6.

Infocom also has bioinformatics distribution agreements for the Japanese market with TimeLogic, Geneva Bioinformatics, ApoCom, Electric Genetics, Gene Codes, GeneData, and Matrix Science.

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