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Sandra Porter

of Digital World Biology

I’ve heard you have to sing loud if you want to change the world. Cloning DNA – lyrics by Sandra Porter, sung to the tune of Surfin’ USA C ………………G7………………C If everybody had a plasmid, across the U.S.A., C ………………G7………………C then everybody’d be cloning, with their DNA …………………………..F You’d see them wearing their goggles. ………………..…

If all the information you had about scientific careers came from newspapers or TV, it would be easy to think that everyone who works in life sciences / biotechnology is either a Ph.D. scientist, post-doc, or graduate student.  In reality, the life sciences are more like an iceberg.  The public sees the people at the…

Many of you may remember a time when music-stealing was rampant on the internet.  Apple changed this situation by establishing a new kind of marketplace. Now people pay for music and download it from iTunes. What if there were a third party group, with an iTunes-like model, where scientific publishers would make papers available for…

The Backstory:  As it stands today,when one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides the funding for a scientific research project, and those results are published, they must be made freely available to public, within a set period of time.  The reasoning behind this requirement is that taxpayers funded everything about the research except for…

The C.R.E.A.T.E. strategy is an approach to making biology teaching a better model of biology, the science. From the C.R.E.A.T.E website, …C.R.E.A.T.E. teaching focuses on on authentic published work–peer reviewed journal articles–with students reading either series of papers produced sequentially from individual labs or series of papers from different labs focused on a single line…

This morning, I learned that congress wants to reverse the advances made by NIH and go back to restricting access to scientific publications. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (New York) and Congressman Darrell Issa (California) are co-sponsoring a bill to restore the limits on public access to NIH-funded research. I’ve written many times before (here, here, here,…

In simple Mendelian genetics, a single change in one gene can produce a large change in mortality. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will be funding genomics studies on Mendelian traits using a similar strategy. NHGRI will fund a small number of centers, dominant centers you might say, and look for large changes. The…

Like everything else, if we want to know what’s going on, we have to ask. So, it’s time once again for the 2011-2012 National Biotechnology/Life Sciences Program Survey. Yes, indeed. Federal and state agencies will use the results to determine how best to support programs like yours. This study will also help prospective students and…

What roles should community colleges play in training the bioeconomy workforce of the future? Send your answers to bioeconomy@ostp.gov by Dec. 6th. One night towards the end of October, we happened to meet with someone who could tell us more. We asked him about a request for information (RFI) soliciting input on the bioeconomy, that…

For the past few days I’ve been avidly following Daniel MacArthur’s tweets from the Personal Genome Conference at Cold Spring Harbor(@dgmacarthur #cshlpg). The Personal Genomics tweets aren’t just interesting because of the science, they’re interesting because MacArthur and others have started to take on the conventional dogma in genetic ethics. For years, there has been…