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Submission + - SPAM: Open Source software meets do-it-yourself biology

destinyland writes: This article profiles a growing movement — DIY biology — that's made possible in part by open source tools. Using programs like BioPerl and BioPython, DIY biologists write their own code (computer and genetic), designing their own biological systems and altering the genome. A protein-folding simulator, Folding@home, is now the most powerful distributed computing cluster in the world, and as the movement evolves, cooperatives are also springing up where hobbyists pool resources and create 'hacker spaces' to reduce costs and share knowledge. "As the shift to open source software continues, computational biology will become even more accessible, and even more powerful," this article argues — while intellectual property and other bureaucracies continue to hobble traditional forms of research.
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Submission + - Obama's Dir. of Citizen Participation Patents News

theodp writes: Ex-Googler and now White House Director of Citizen Participation Katie Stanton can be excused if she takes a break from promoting open public dialogues on Thursday. After all, she and Google might want to celebrate that they've just managed to snag a patent on displaying financial news. The patent for Interactive Financial Charting and Related News Correlation (as seen on Google Finance), which Google describes as techniques that 'facilitate and encourage the user's use and understanding of financial information,' expires in 2027. To loosely paraphrase JFK, 'Domestic policy can only defeat us; patent policy can kill us.'

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