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A New Biology for the 21st Century
lead to synergies and new approaches that no single community could have achieved alone.
A broad array of programs to identify, support, and facilitate biology research exists in the federal government but value is being lost by not integrating these efforts.
Interagency insight and oversight is critical to support the emergence and growth of the New Biology Initiative. Interagency leadership will be needed to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the initiative, evaluate its progress, establish necessary working subgroups, maintain communication, guard against redundancy, and identify gaps and opportunities for leveraging results across projects.
The committee recommends that the national New Biology Initiative be aninteragency effort, that it have a timeline of at least 10 years, and that its funding be in addition to current research budgets.
Information is the fundamental currency of the New Biology.
Solutions to the challenges of standardization, exchange, storage, security, analysis, and visualization of biological information will multiply the value of the research currently being supported across the federal government.
Biological data are extraordinarily heterogeneous and interrelating various bodies of data is currently precluded by the lack of the necessary information infrastructure.
It is critical that all researchers be able to share and access each others’ information in a common or fully interactive format.
The productivity of biological research will increasingly depend on long-term, predictable support for a high-performance information infrastructure.
The committee recommends that, within the national New Biology Initiative,priority be given to the development of the information technologies and sciences that will be critical to the success of the New Biology.
Investment in education is essential if the new biology is to reach its full potential in meeting the core challenges of the 21st century.
The New Biology Initiative provides an opportunity to attract students to science who want to solve real-world problems.
The New Biologist is not a scientist who knows a little bit about all disciplines, but a scientist with deep knowledge in one discipline and a “working fluency” in several.