Science Industries in Developing and Emerging Markets

December 27, 2012 | Posted by rachel in Research |
ILRI’s animal feeding lab in Hyderabad: by ILRI, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  ILRI 

 

Science is often considered a rich country industry.  It requires large investments in expensive and unique buildings, educational systems to produce scientists that can perform cutting-edge research, and infrastructure to deliver costly reagents in a time efficient manner.

Although some of the best science still occurs in developed countries like the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia, developing countries are quickly devoting resources towards science and technology, and subsequent commercialization of the research.

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Crowdsourcing Human Microbiome Research

December 21, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Research |

This is a guest post from Jessica Richman, co-founder of uBiome and a PhD scholar at Oxford University

Amidst the current focus on genomic testing, there is a new field emerging with a different approach to metagenomics: direct-to-consumer sequencing of the microbiome.

The microbiome are the bacteria that live on and within us; all of us are actually covered in helpful germs (or co-evolved symbionts if you prefer). Like the rainforest, the healthy human microbiome is a balanced ecosystem. The correct balance of microbes serves to keep potential pathogens in check and regulate the immune system. Microbes also perform essential functions such as digesting food and synthesizing vitamins. Some research also suggests that microbial activity influences mammalian mood and behavior.

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Nature’s ‘Ten People Who Mattered’ in 2012

December 19, 2012 | Posted by Team in Company, Science Exchange News |

Photo Credit: Nature.com

This year, Science Exchange CEO Elizabeth Iorns helped to launch the Reproducibility Initiative– collaborative program between Science Exchange, PLOS ONE, Mendeley, and figshare that offers scientists a way to validate their studies by expert providers.

The Reproducibility Initiative has been met with welcome applause from researchers and the public alike. The launch received accolades in Reuters and Slate Magazine. Initial outreach to academic studies have received a strong response as well, with 77% of respondents opting in to have their studies validated.

In recognition of her efforts with the Reproducibility Initiative then, Nature Magazine has just noted Dr. Iorns as one of their  Ten People Who Mattered in 2012.

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MOOCs and Khan Academy: Opening up Science Education

December 10, 2012 | Posted by leah in Research |
#jiscwebinar What Is A MOOC? @dkernohan by giulia.forsythe, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  giulia.forsythe 

 

The cost of education in the United States has risen astronomically. The average annual cost of tuition, room and board for an undergraduate increased nearly 600% from $3,101 in 1980 to in $18,497 in 2010. And the mean cost to attend private institutions in 2010 was almost double, at $32,026.

To afford these fees, American students, past and present, now have a total student loan debt over $1 trillion. The growing tuition costs have further impacted truancy and drop-out rates, with lower income students more likely to drop out of school than students from wealthier families.

This divide has propelled a recent explosion of disruptive education models. There are the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), led by Coursera, Udacity and edX, which offer free online versions of courses from professors at top universities; and then there is the not-for-profit Khan Academy  which provides thousands of educational videos completely free of charge. All these organisations aim to use technology to open education to millions, simply via the internet.

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