A potential game-changer in contract research services domain & I’m talking about the latest concept that calls “Putting Science in the Cloud” in its intro of Emerald Cloud Laboratory, essentially what looks like an idle infrastructure monetization initiative of the 'stealth start-up', Emerald Therapeutics.
Pun apart, if indeed this turns out like it’s promised, a scientist in any part of the world will be able to simultaneously prescribe & iterate-on (with the robotic handlers) the experiments that she/he outsourced. This in turn will make it easy for more drug discovery start-ups to emerge (including some garage innovators too..) & pursue their dreams in a quicker, cheaper & more efficient way (~ the likes of DNAnexus claim that as scale emerges, it’s possible that a whole human genome can be sequenced for a mere $1000!)
The above scenario also implies that scale is a possibility & efficiency at scale an absolute need for any player in this emerging domain.
With only JIT availability of both laboratory & equipment consumables as a probable potential 'scale-limiting' bottleneck, I won't be surprised if the domain of cloud contract laboratory services (I wouldn’t yet call this research..) is quickly populated & dominated by the likes of Life Technologies, a process likely starting with acquisition of buyer organizations by these technology platform & consumable behemoths.
An exciting prospect surely for a scientist currently hyperventilating while awaiting the outcome of an outsourced experiment.