SOURCE: Scitable

Scitable

April 06, 2010 07:00 ET

Nature Education Announces Founding Sponsorships

Roche Applied Science, Tata Consultancy Services, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, New England Biolabs to Sponsor Student Access to Nature Publishing Group's Online Learning Library

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - April 6, 2010) -  Nature Education, the educational wing of global science publisher Nature Publishing Group (NPG), today announced that founding partners Roche Applied Science, Tata Consultancy Services, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and New England Biolabs have pledged substantial financial sponsorship to Scitable, Nature Education's free online science library for the global educational community. The combined sponsorship signifies the companies' commitment to support NPG's goal of making high-quality digital science education broadly available to college and high school students in every country of the world. 

"These organizations recognize that the future of their industries -- and the societies within which they operate -- depends on raising the breadth and quality with which we train and retain young scientists in every region of the world," said Vikram Savkar, Senior Vice President & Publishing Director at Nature Publishing Group. "They are demonstrating clear and material dedication to the cause by underwriting cost-free student access to our high quality educational content, filling a critical resource gap in many regions." 

Scitable draws upon Nature Publishing Group's 140-year strength in scientific research publishing to provide a library of authoritative educational information, ranging from introductory, media-rich online courses to advanced articles combining summaries of milestone research papers with thorough explanations of key concepts. Scitable also provides a comprehensive suite of educational tools designed to help faculty immerse students in the library, including virtual classrooms and learning paths, as well as a collaborative network of scientists, teachers, journalists, students, and lifelong-learners who can connect for discussion, mentorship, and informal instruction. Since its launch in January 2009, Scitable's library -- currently focused on the field of genetics -- has been used by more than a million students and faculty in 110 countries.

As sponsors, participating companies underwrite cost-free access to chosen areas of the site on behalf of the global student community. Roche Applied Science, a producer of reagents and systems for life sciences, is sponsoring student access to the Genes and Disease section. "Our commitment to the development of research tools for breakthrough scientific discovery has always been tied to Roche's dedication to improving the quality of human life," said Manfred Baier, Head of Roche Applied Science. "Our partnership with Nature Education on Scitable is in line with our continued efforts to expand access to the research tools and scientific information which will help young scientists succeed in expanding our knowledge."

Tata Consultancy Services, a provider of technology-based solutions to the healthcare and publishing industries, is sponsoring access to the Evolutionary Genetics and Population Genetics areas and partnered with Nature Education to develop advanced online collaboration tools. "Usage of social platforms can greatly aid innovation in the sciences, healthcare, education, and media sectors. Our partnership with Nature Education on Scitable is an example of how social technologies can fundamentally expand the reach and impact of the education sector," said Kamal Bhadada, VP and Head of Media and Information Services for Tata Consultancy Services.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals will be launch sponsors of a forthcoming unit on RNAi, the technology at the heart of Alnylam's success in developing innovative therapeutics. "Alnylam is committed to furthering the advancement of science on a global scale and across all levels of education," said John Maraganore, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. "We are delighted to be partnering with Nature Education on Scitable, and applaud them for the initiative they have demonstrated in establishing this important program. Our scientists look forward to sharing their insight and expertise in areas such as RNAi therapeutics, as well as learning from the Scitable community."

New England Biolabs, a provider of reagents to the life science industry, will be launch sponsors for forthcoming units on restriction enzymes and related topics. "One of the founding principles of New England Biolabs is the advancement of science and education. We are pleased to be a part of Nature Education's Scitable and feel that it will become an invaluable tool for future generations of scientists," said Andy Bertera, Director of Marketing.

"Science teachers have been asking for digital science education resources that unite all of the sciences in one space, incorporate a research-based perspective, allow class-by-class customization, and are accessible to all students," said Savkar. "Today, through the support of our sponsors, we have taken an important step towards making that a full reality."

Future plans for Nature Education involve expanding Scitable's content library across other fields in the life and physical sciences and developing a mobile site extending access to the library to smartphones.

For more information about Scitable, visit www.nature.com/scitable. For more information about Scitable's founding sponsors, visit www.nature.com/scitable/sponsors.

About Nature Education
Nature Education, the educational division of Nature Publishing Group, is dedicated to developing innovative science education resources for undergraduate and high school science students and faculty. In 2009, Nature Education launched Scitable, an openly accessible collaborative online teaching and learning space for science. For more information, visit www.nature.com/scitable.

About Nature Publishing Group
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information in print and online. NPG publishes journals, online databases, and services across the life, physical, chemical, and applied sciences and clinical medicine, including Nature (founded in 1869), the leading weekly, international scientific journal, and Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Online, nature.com provides over 5 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and online databases and services. Part of Macmillan Publishers Limited, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York, and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Heidelberg, Basingstoke, Melbourne, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, and Washington DC. For more information, visit www.nature.com.

About Roche Applied Science
Roche Applied Science, a business area of Roche Diagnostics, is a leading producer of reagents and systems for life science research. The company's product portfolio and capabilities in genomics and cell biology, including next-generation sequencing, high density microarrays, real-time PCR, and real-time label-free cellular analysis, are enlarging the life science knowledge pool and transforming society's understanding of disease. For more information, visit www.roche-applied-science.com.

About Tata Consultancy Services
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, business solutions, and outsourcing organization that delivers real results to global businesses, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model(TM), recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata Group, India's largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 140,000 of the world's best trained IT consultants in 42 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $6 billion for fiscal year ended 31 March 2009 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit www.tcs.com.

About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world's top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its most advanced program is in Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In addition, the company is developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disease areas, including liver cancers, TTR-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR), hypercholesterolemia, and Huntington's disease. For more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.

About New England Biolabs
Established in mid-1970s, New England Biolabs, Inc. leads the industry in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. NEB continues to expand its product offerings into areas related to PCR, gene expression, cellular analysis, markers and ladders, competent cells, and RNA analysis. For more information, visit www.neb.com.

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