NIH seeds scientific networking projects with $27M

Here's something to pass on to the scientists in your life. Over the past few years social networking sites have drawn in millions of people with the promise of instantaneous links to new and old circles of friends. Now the NIH is putting up $27 million to see if the same technology that connects teens and spurs plans for Saturday night can virally link a generation of biomedical researchers.

The University of Florida and Harvard University Medical School qualified for the money, and both are setting up sites intended to spark the spread of bold new ideas and the sharing of data. About 45 to 60 people will be hired to make these sites a reality over the next two years.

"National networking provides opportunities for scientists to collaborate in new, exciting ways to improve abilities to uncover underlying pathways and mechanisms of biology and to develop new diagnostics, treatments and prevention strategies," said NCRR Director Barbara Alving, M.D. "The infrastructure created and implemented through these awards has the potential to greatly facilitate the pace of biomedical research nationwide."

- here's the NIH release
- check out a list of project partner institutions here