[Business Insider] The discovery of the CRISPR genome-editing technology shows why basic research is so important.
Source: The researchers behind ‘the biggest biotech discovery of the century’ found it by accident in DNA Research
I am posting this as an example that when doing research one has to broadly think how what one is working on may have useful implications for different problems than those we are aiming to study.
The other point, is that basic research, even if it does not have a known or expected application can have a huge contribution to solving practical problems.
I am attending the useR!2015 conference in Aalborg, where I gave a talk. The speaker who talked after me, works at Vesta, the Danish company which makes the wind turbines for electricity generation (they the leader of the market world-wide).
He told that they use only R. No other statistical software is allowed in the company, and what I found most interesting was his remark, which approximately went like this: “when we hire a data analysts we prefer a molecular biologist experienced in R than an engineer experienced in SPSS.” This is very significant as most of the data analysis they do has to do with prediction of mechanical and electrical failures to schedule maintenance and minimize downtime.
RevolutionAnalytics, a company developing and supporting R for commercial use has been acquired by Microsoft and Microsoft is one of funders of a new consortium formed to further the development of R.
Author: Schimmer, Ralf et al.; Genre: Paper; Published online: 2015-04-28; Open Access; Title: Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access
Source: Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access :: MPG.PuRe
An interesting viewpoint on the future of scientific publication, and assessment of its cost.
The NIH (USA, National Institutes of Health) has opened a new web site on the subject, which although focused on Biomedical research, provides a good account of current trends and problems, how to overcome them and guidelines that could be easily adapted for the rest of the Biosciences including Plant Science.
An international competition from the UK with participation of the BBC looks very interesting. If you have ever thought of writing a short piece in English explaining to the general public why your research subject will help change the world for better, this is a good opportunity for getting recognition and being published in a journal with large readership.