Contest to improve research of rare diseases

By Mark Frauenfelder

I met Jimmy Lin last year at TED. He's a research instructor at Washington University in St. Louis and founder of the Rare Genomics Institute, a "non-profit that makes cutting edge research technologies and experts accessible to rare disease patients." Today, Jimmy announced a rare disease competition for the best research proposal. He says:

Today, Rare Genomics Institute and Assay Depot announced an innovative international contest to catalyze rare disease research. Rare diseases affect over 250 million people worldwide, yet less than five percent of the 7,000 known rare diseases have any therapy. We have gathered 19 companies to donate $400,000 worth of cutting edge technology, services, and cash. Our hope is that this will encourage non-profits, academic researchers, rare disease advocacy groups, families of rare disease patients and for-profit companies to collaborate to advance rare disease research. In addition to expert scientific review, we will also be awarding a $10,000 prize for the best idea that will be determined by Facebook voting.
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