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The new digital age of research


An interesting paper was picked up this week by major news outlets such as the New York Times. The article focussed on a paper in cell called "A Whole-Cell Computational Model Predicts Phenotype from Genotype". This paper describes how Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed the first software simulation of an entire organism.

"The scientists and other experts said the work was a giant step toward developing computerized laboratories that could carry out many thousands of experiments much faster than is possible now, helping scientists penetrate the mysteries of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s."

In fact, through, we can see the true real time volume of online conversation going on around this paper. As you can see, it has got a lot of people talking:

So we were delighted to see that first name author Jonathan Karr uploaded all of the code, data and test data onto figshare. Included in this is the following video showin the detailed capture of the raw data:

In doing so, the research can be re-used and built upon by other research groups around the world. All of the objects are individually citable, as well as the complete data package. As we enter an age where the supporting information, data, tool and context can be shared and distributed throughout the world for free using figshare, it is important to remember how much added value is added to the article by making the research discoverable in this manner.

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