Online research communities are aiming to unite scientists worldwide to find cures for neglected disease by using the open source programming model. Online discussions will prioritize a list of experiments and raw data will be posted online and discussed. The online group, working under a website called Synaptic Leap, hopes that volunteered time, computer power, and regeants will eventually result in a portfolio of drug leads that will be made freely available for development. Participants in open-source collaborations give up their ability to patent discoveries by definition, because their data are public as soon as they are posted. Open-source science could provide a pipeline for nonprofit pharmaceutical companies that will be a great way to accelerate science, because online discussions permit instant feedback on ideas and data. Online members are working on developing plans to address malaria, in collaboration with the Tropical Disease Initiative, and schistosomiasis.
Everts, S. (2006). Open-source science.