[opensourcepharma] Crowdsourcing Ideas for Ebola Medicines. Even Some Democracy.

Matthew Todd mattoddchem at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 10:35:32 UTC 2014


It'd be useful for the community to have a place where we can suggest,
discuss and vote on molecules, and current needs of the Ebola community
make me think of this again. People are suggesting ideas for new medicines
in various places and the suggestions are not being coordinated. We will
ultimately need a method for collaboratively whittling down good hits from
future experimental screens.

A while back a volunteer for the Open Source Malaria consortium developed
an alpha of a molecule voting system. Anyone could upload a molecule, link
to another resource, explain the usefulness of the molecule and ask for
feedback. Voting was possible, and observers could get involved in the

The talented guy who developed this, Mike Robins
<https://au.linkedin.com/in/mikerobins>, did so in his spare time. His code
is openly available, and a snapshot of the alpha (an example I created
yesterday) can be seen here:

It'd be great if people with better connections than I to software
communities were willing to try to get people interested in taking the
alpha to a beta that we could actually roll out for the open discussion of
literally hundreds of molecules for e.g. Ebola. Besides cosmetic tweaks,
we'd need to make sure it's searchable, has the ability to group/connect
related structures and generally caters to the needs of likely users. Would
anyone like to run this past possible contributors/coding communities? Is
this a good candidate for a short competition or prize, sourced from an
interested organisation? I foresee opportunities in spurring interest in
both the coding and in the subsequent uploading of good molecule

Happy to provide specification list as a starting point, and Mike's
available to help with initial coding work.

(There are lots of ways of setting up polls online, but each of those we
looked at suffered from one of i) lack of openness, ii) onerous sign-up,
iii) no picture uploads or iv) lack of commenting functionality. If anyone
knows of something that might suit, please say.)



MATTHEW TODD | Associate Professor
School of Chemistry | Faculty of Science

Rm 519, F11 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
T +61 2 9351 2180  | F +61 2 9351 3329  | M +61 415 274104
E matthew.todd at sydney.edu.au | W
http://sydney.edu.au/science/chemistry/research/todd.html | W

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