There is an urgent need for identifying new targets for drug discovery. This urgency is even more relevant for infectious diseases affecting third-world countries, which have been historically neglected by the pharmaceutical industry. For example, only ~10% of the R&D resources have been spent on illnesses that represent the 90% of the total disease burden in the world (Munos 2006), which translates in that just ~1% of newly developed drugs are for tropical diseases (Maurer et al. 2004).
At the beginning of the 90s, an initial Linux kernel conceived and created by Linus Torvalds paved the way for a wealth of open and free software programs and operating systems. Here we introduce what we believe can be regarded as an initial kernel for drug discovery with the hope that it will sparkle new ways for developing drugs against organisms that cause tropical diseases. The TDI kernel (v1.0) includes 297 potential drug targets against the 10 selected genomes and is freely and publicly accessible in a World Wide Web server, which was developed with Web2.0 tools for easy dissemination of the deposited data.
It's amazing how metaphors can spread.
You can browser the kernel - *their* kernel - here.
23 April 2009