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BitTorrenting biology, getting the big picture in search

(arstechnica.com): The biosciences, like other branches of research, are being dragged into the digital era. This is in part because traditional mediums of communications, including journal articles, are migrating online, and in part because high-throughput approaches to biological research are producing staggering amounts of data that can only be stored in digital form. A couple of papers released by PLoS ONE have presented new approaches to both aspects of digitization that, in essence, simply involve modifying tools that are common outside of the field specifically for use by biologists.
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Who should care about the future of the university?

(pacificfreepress.com): The corporate university has been waging a battle for some years now against the remaining features of the public university. The major means of this battle has been fiscal. Public funding of universities has consistently fallen for decades now and major issues about the functioning and purposes of the university need to be addressed. This fall in government funding has gone hand in hand with seeing education as simply an aid to the individual in confronting the job market, so that any larger social or public purposes lose their purchase. University administrations, on the whole, have avoided addressing larger questions of the social role of education or the current restructuring of the university directly because of their bureaucratic, rather than political, approach to university functioning. They have presented the new fiscal environment as an inescapable force that has inevitably turned them toward corporate sources of funding.
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Simplifying e-book acquisition at the University of Surrey

(liveserials.blogspot.com): In the past, e-book acquisitions at Surrey were strangely paper-oriented and encompassed a number of delays. With budgets being squeezed, re-engineering was necessary to introduce efficiencies - using an aggregator to reduce the number of places to search. Crucially, the aggregator shares pricing upfront, and ordering / fulfilment via EDI means that data is on the LMS from the outset, saving much time and effort.
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First Information Open Access Forum in Cuba

(cubaheadlines.com): The first forum to be held in Cuba for Open Access Information will be a part of the International Information Technology Congress (INFO 2010) that will be in session from April 19 to 23, informed the Organizing Committee. INFO 2010 is a chance to exchange experiences, present international projects and sign collaboration agreements, with more than 20 countries from Latin America and Europe.
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New project for scientists to share information and deepen understanding of diseases

(wsj.com): In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia, it is hard to believe there is still one group that prefers to be more circumspect about sharing: scientists. Scientists worry that if they share data before publishing their findings, someone else might claim credit for a discovery they made. And even after they mine information for themselves, they frequently cling to the notion that more may be discovered, and so continue to hoard the data. Now an ambitious project has been launched to try to change this traditional approach. Sage Bionetworks is driving an effort to build an open-source collaborative effort it calls Sage Commons, a place where data and disease models can be shared in the hopes of deepening scientists' understanding of disease biology. To succeed, its founders acknowledge, will require not just data, but a huge cultural shift.
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