Open Source Biology

Open Source Biology

MSI is committed to making its research and technology available to the public.  To this end, the Institute publishes its scientific results in the open scientific literature, makes reagents and methods freely available to the research community, and posts unpublished data on the web. The Institute distributes its software under established open source mechanisms.  The Institute uses established conventional mechanisms, including wide licensing to industrial partners, to foster commercial application of its biological technology.  Researchers at the Institute have been working with other institutions, scientists, engineers, and legal experts to develop the concept of Open Source Biology.  If viable open source licensing schemes for biological methods and reagents can be developed. The Institute intends to use these schemes, in combination with existing schemes or even exclusively, taking into account the wishes of the inventors, to satisfy the criterion that the new technologies are disseminated for maximum public benefit. Please send comments on this draft policy to Roger Brent.

For more information about open source biology we recommend reading the White Paper on OSB prepared by Roger Brent and Rob Carlson (2000) for DARPA [ PDF ]. While this project was not approved for funding, it did influence the policies of DARPA administrators.  This influence is visible in the insistence of the DARPA Bio-Computation program, which has funded work at MSI, on Open Source software developed under the program, and in DARPA’s continued support for the exploration of the extension of these concepts to aid the development of a design based engineering of biological systems.

Other relevant links related to open source biology

OpenWetWare (OWW) is an effort to promote the sharing of information, know-how, and wisdom among researchers and groups who are working in biology & biological engineering. OWW provides a place for labs, individuals, and groups to organize their own information and collaborate with others easily and efficiently. A long-term goal of OWW is lead to greater collaboration between member groups, but also provide a useful information portal to our colleagues, and ultimately the rest of the world. This site contains other articles relevant to Open Source Biology, by Drew Endy and Robert Carlson.

Eben Moglen. This site contains writings by Eben Moglen, a professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia Law School and one of the legal architects of existing Open Source licensing methods.

Creative Commons and Science Commons. These sites reflect current efforts to develop other means for distributing the products of artistic and scientific work.

Comments are Disabled