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Wiley Wires, GMU, TurboGenomics, GeneBio, Stanford University

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Wiley Wires Current Protocols for the Bioinformatics Crowd

John Wiley & Sons’ upcoming Current Protocols in Bioinformatics is not your father’s — or your wet lab counterpart’s — Current Protocols, according to Ann Boyle, senior editor and manager of bioinformatics product development at Wiley.

The Current Protocols line, the looseleaf bible of many a molecular biologist, has been revamped a bit to suit the needs of in silico biologists, Boyle said. While the publication will not be going to press until the end of the calendar year, Wiley began posting completed sections online in August — the first time the publisher went this route, Boyle said, due to the tendency of the material to go out of date much quicker than in other disciplines.

Edited by Andy Baxevanis of NHGRI and Dan Davison of Bristol-Myers Squibb, the resource is written for biologists rather than computational scientists, and is structured around common biological problems that can be answered via bioinformatics solutions. Authors provided sample data files to allow users to download and walk through the protocols step-by-step.

For those interested in the algorithmic innerworkings of the techniques discussed, a separate appendix delves into the computational theory behind the methods.

Boyle said that the online version of the resource is currently available to institutional subscribers. Like the rest of the CP titles, updates and revisions will be available on a quarterly basis.

 

GMU Bioinformatics Program at Risk

George Mason University may have to axe its bioinformatics program due to a funding crisis in the state of Virginia.

With revenues over the next two fiscal years expected to be $1.5 billion less than planned, Governor Mark Warner requested state-funded universities and colleges to submit three different plans by September 20 to reduce their budgets for the current and coming fiscal year by 7 percent, 11 percent, and 15 percent.

George Mason University, which has offered a PhD program in bioinformatics since 1992 and launched a master’s program in 2000, said that under the 11 percent and 15 percent reduction plan, it would be forced to shut down its bioinformatics and biodefense initiatives “because of lack of faculty and staff to support the programs.”

The university said it would have to eliminate a total of 100-140 teaching positions under the higher-level budget reductions.

Warner is expected to unveil his final budget plans this week.

 

TurboGenomics is Now TurboWorx

In order to address “confusion that exists in the marketplace,” New Haven, Conn.-based TurboGenomics is changing its name to TurboWorx.

According to Andrew Sherman, vice president of operations for the company, “Because genomics was part of our old name, quite a few people thought that we focused purely on genomics applications…Actually we are much broader in scope.”

While the company intends to remain focused on the computational needs of the life science market — hence the “rx” at the end of the new name — Sherman noted that the company’s software “can increase the productivity and throughput of any computing application that involves high computing loads or complicated workflow requirements.”

Sherman added that the company’s products would not be affected by the name change.

 

GeneBio Signs Japanese Distributor

Geneva Bioinformatics, the keeper of the commercial versions of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics’ Swiss-Prot, Prosite, and Swiss-2Dpage, has selected Tokyo-based Infocom to distribute the databases in the Japanese market.

Infocom, an IT firm that has collaborated with GeneBio on the SIB databases since 1999, sees the agreement as a major win.

In a statement, Kikuo Ohgaki, general manager of the company’s bioscience department, said, “This opportunity to broadly represent the SIB databases in Japan has great significance in increasing our business presence.”

 

Stanford BMI Program Offers Distance Learning

The Biomedical Informatics training program at Stanford University has added an online professional masters degree program to its offerings.

The part-time course, which begins in the spring quarter of 2003, will permit students to study for their degree while holding full-time jobs. Students may take up to five years to complete the program, which can be conducted entirely online via web-based courses delivered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development.

Further information is available at: smi-web.stanford.edu/academics.

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