Maxson Jones Kathryn

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Maxson Jones
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  • Article
    The Bermuda Triangle : the pragmatics, policies, and principles for data sharing in the history of the Human Genome Project
    (Springer, 2018-11-02) Maxson Jones, Kathryn ; Ankeny, Rachel A. ; Cook-Deegan, Robert
    The Bermuda Principles for DNA sequence data sharing are an enduring legacy of the Human Genome Project (HGP). They were adopted by the HGP at a strategy meeting in Bermuda in February of 1996 and implemented in formal policies by early 1998, mandating daily release of HGP-funded DNA sequences into the public domain. The idea of daily sharing, we argue, emanated directly from strategies for large, goal-directed molecular biology projects first tested within the “community” of C. elegans researchers, and were introduced and defended for the HGP by the nematode biologists John Sulston and Robert Waterston. In the C. elegans community, and subsequently in the HGP, daily sharing served the pragmatic goals of quality control and project coordination. Yet in the HGP human genome, we also argue, the Bermuda Principles addressed concerns about gene patents impeding scientific advancement, and were aspirational and flexible in implementation and justification. They endured as an archetype for how rapid data sharing could be realized and rationalized, and permitted adaptation to the needs of various scientific communities. Yet in addition to the support of Sulston and Waterston, their adoption also depended on the clout of administrators at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the UK nonprofit charity the Wellcome Trust, which together funded 90% of the HGP human sequencing effort. The other nations wishing to remain in the HGP consortium had to accommodate to the Bermuda Principles, requiring exceptions from incompatible existing or pending data access policies for publicly funded research in Germany, Japan, and France. We begin this story in 1963, with the biologist Sydney Brenner’s proposal for a nematode research program at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at the University of Cambridge. We continue through 2003, with the completion of the HGP human reference genome, and conclude with observations about policy and the historiography of molecular biology.
  • Article
    Evolution of a security system in a small library
    (IAMSLIC, 2001) Maxson Jones, Kathryn
  • Article
    Lampreys and spinal cord regeneration: "a very special claim on the interest of zoologists," 1830s-present
    (Frontiers Media, 2023-05-09) Maxson Jones, Kathryn ; Morgan, Jennifer R.
    Employing history of science methods, including analyses of the scientific literature, archival documents, and interviews with scientists, this paper presents a history of lampreys in neurobiology from the 1830s to the present. We emphasize the lamprey's roles in helping to elucidate spinal cord regeneration mechanisms. Two attributes have long perpetuated studies of lampreys in neurobiology. First, they possess large neurons, including multiple classes of stereotypically located, 'identified' giant neurons in the brain, which project their large axons into the spinal cord. These giant neurons and their axonal fibers have facilitated electrophysiological recordings and imaging across biological scales, ranging from molecular to circuit-level analyses of nervous system structures and functions and including their roles in behavioral output. Second, lampreys have long been considered amongst the most basal extant vertebrates on the planet, so they have facilitated comparative studies pointing to conserved and derived characteristics of vertebrate nervous systems. These features attracted neurologists and zoologists to studies of lampreys between the 1830s and 1930s. But, the same two attributes also facilitated the rise of the lamprey in neural regeneration research after 1959, when biologists first wrote about the spontaneous, robust regeneration of some identified CNS axons in larvae after spinal cord injuries, coupled with recovery of normal swimming. Not only did large neurons promote fresh insights in the field, enabling studies incorporating multiple scales with existing and new technologies. But investigators also were able to attach a broad scope of relevance to their studies, interpreting them as suggesting conserved features of successful, and sometimes even unsuccessful, CNS regeneration. Lamprey research demonstrated that functional recovery takes place without the reformation of the original neuronal connections, for instance, by way of imperfect axonal regrowth and compensatory plasticity. Moreover, research performed in the lamprey model revealed that factors intrinsic to neurons are integral in promoting or hindering regeneration. As this work has helped illuminate why basal vertebrates accomplish CNS regeneration so well, whereas mammals do it so poorly, this history presents a case study in how biological and medical value have been, and could continue to be, gleaned from a non-traditional model organism for which molecular tools have been developed only relatively recently.