Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Will Bill Gates Fix Science?

  • "Four reasons why academic research is broken", a great little article by Jason over at Unsought Input. He raises some great points regarding the current sad state of access to scientific information and how its hurts society. I think the article's right on the money. I especially like the thing about citations - the way journals cite literature is just like so 1940s.
  • On a more optimistic note, the Gates Foundation, now backed by the fortunes of the world's richest two men (Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) is changing the landscape of drug development with its mission of prioritizing humanitarian project funding. Even the big pharmas are starting to shake in their boots and will probably have to fall into line and also start developing AIDS drugs and vaccines for underprivileged majority who need them. Serves them right for being so damn greedy in the first place. One cool project that the Gates Foundation is helping to make happen is Jay Keasling's engineering of bacteria to synthesize cheap anti-malarials. Throwing $43 million at project such as this one, which will eventually make a curative dose of Artemisinin available for a quarter, you can see why big pharmas are sleeping with one eye open.