The Sharing Economy Comes to Scientific Research

The Conversation – April 11, 2016

In a market where the latest version of “Next Generation Sequencing” equipment approaches US$1 million and is replaced as often as the iPhone, scientists struggle to afford the equipment and to maintain the scientific expertise for emerging technologies. Yet to perform top-quality and cost-effective research, scientists need these technologies and the technical knowledge of experts to run them. When money is tight, where can scientists turn for the tools they need to complete their projects? An early solution to this problem was to create what the academic world calls “resource labs” that specialize in one or more specific type of science experiments. Researchers can then order and pay for that type of experiment from the resource lab instead of doing it on their own.

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