Open Source Biology

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Just a place to store notes & links about the nascent open source biology/biotech community


  • The Penguin's Genome, or Coase and Open Source Biotechnology (D.Opderbeck, Harvard J of Law and Tech)
    • Jason R. Kelly 21:04, 19 May 2007 (EDT): Opderbeck is more critical of OSB and suggests that "romanticized" views of open source fail to account for the differences between software and wetware. He concludes that information in biology is likely more rivalrous than information in software due to economic, social, and biological rivalry (section IV.C). He advocates an approach directed at lowering the transaction costs associated with traditional IP negotiations (rather than a new open source IP scheme) via a "National Biotechnology Database" that would contain all necessary info for prospective licensees and licensors.
      • "The analysis in Parts V.A and B above suggests that the principal issue in the biotechnology research commons is access to data that will help reduce transaction costs and strategic behavior. Therefore, biotechnology innovation policy should focus not on weakening intellectual property rights or on encouraging alternative development methods such as open source, but rather on making such data available." (p.244)
  • Shifting Innovation to Users via Toolkits (von Hippel & Katz)
    • Jason R. Kelly 02:47, 20 May 2007 (EDT): One of the approaches advocated by Hope is to provide an Open Source 'toolkit', vonHippel et al demonstrate the success of such toolkits in a number of industries. Hope suggests that biotech meets the requirements described by von Hippel for an industry that could be served by user toolkits, such as "sticky information" (p822).

Groups doing this sort of thing