Today at the Bio-IT World Magazine World Life Sciences Conference + Expo, Microsoft announced the formation of the BioIT Alliance, a cross-industry group working to further integrate science and technology as a first step toward making personalized medicine a reality.

This builds on some work Don Rule has been doing around the new Office Open XML file formats and how custom schemas could be used to promote better collaboration amongst scientists and researchers. As Catherine M. Burzik, president of Applied Biosystems, says "This format [Office Open XML] enables life science companies to access data using the familiar Microsoft Office Excel® interface, providing them with the insight they need to make decisions more quickly."

Here's the announcement on BioTT World's web site, and here's an article on Yahoo.