Open source plays vital role in scientific advances in medicine and science
While the open source movement initially came into being as a way to "democratise" software development, it is now playing an increasingly important role in the development of cutting-edge technologies in a wide range of non-IT fields, including medicine and science.
For example, researchers from Chile, who have just been awarded the 2018 PLOS Open Source Toolkit Channel Prize, relied heavily on open source software and hardware for the development of a low-cost fluorescent imaging system.
This system can be used in a wide range of fields including laboratory medicine, pharmacology, environmental biology and molecular biology to image assays. It could also be used in an educational environment for the teaching of biology.
In their article, the researchers make the point that following the impact of free and open source software in software development, open hardware will accelerate hardware development in a similar manner, enabling laboratories around the world to design and make their own equipment.
They believe these designs could replace commercial scientific instrumentation with self-manufacturing, lowering costs by over 90%. This is precisely what happened when they used open source tools to develop their imaging system.
|Open source plays vital role in scientific advances | ITWeb
Researchers from Chile relied on open source software and hardware when they developed a low-cost fluorescent imaging system.