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Content about biology

January 21, 2015

As high-performance computers reshape the future, scientists gain the next-generation tools enabling them to see deeper into the past. Paleobiologists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Indiana University look to these tools to rewrite the story of the snake’s evolution.

October 29, 2014

Rainforest Connection uses simple devices created from discarded cellphones to listen out for illegal logging activities and provide rangers with real-time alerts. The organization was founded in 2012 by Topher White, who gave a talk about his work at TEDxCERN last month. White’s system has already helped stop illegal logging in Indonesia and further pilot projects are set to be launched soon in both Brazil and Cameroon.

August 20, 2014

Video courtesy AnaEE.

August 13, 2014

Next-generation sequencing (NGS), in which millions or billions of DNA nucleotides are sequenced in parallel, is the backbone of novel discoveries in life sciences, anthropology, social sciences, biomedical sciences and plant sciences. Read about the SoyKB and iPlant collaboration that is taking plant sciences to the next level.

July 2, 2014

Last week, iSGTW attended the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’14) in Leipzig, Germany. The event featured a range of speakers representing a wide variety of research domains. Awards given by PRACE and Germany’s Gauss Centre for Supercomputing highlighted some of the outstanding research on show at the event. And, of course, the new TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers was announced.

June 4, 2014

Thanks to high-quality video links that have just become available over the Central Asia Research and Education Network (CAREN), cardiologists from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan were recently able to take part in a conference remotely from the comfort of their hospital offices.

June 4, 2014

Video courtesy PLEASED.

Most iSGTW readers will have heard plenty of talk of 'the internet of things', especially over the past few years. But have you heard about 'the internet of livingthings'?

May 28, 2014

Last week, iSGTW attended the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) Community Forum 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. The event saw the launch of the EGI Federated Cloud, as well as a range of exciting presentations about how grid and other e-infrastructures are being used to advance excellent science in Europe.

May 7, 2014

Video and caption courtesy CEED project. © SPECS Lab

April 30, 2014

Video and caption courtesy neuGRID4you communication team.

April 23, 2014

Researchers are using PRACE supercomputing resources to tackle the seasonal flu bug. By modeling the process through which viruses insert their genetic material into our cells, they hope to further development of vaccines.

April 9, 2014

With global data output growing rapidly, it is vital that researchers come together to build the social and technical bridges required to enable open sharing of research data. The organization charged with achieving this is the Research Data Alliance (RDA), which recently celebrated its first anniversary.

Last month, the RDA held a plenary meeting in Dublin, Ireland. The 497 attendees at the event engaged in discussion on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the role of publishers and persistent identifiers to heritage data and legal interoperability. Data applications discussed also included geospatial information, marine observation, food production, and urban quality of life indicators.

February 26, 2014

Last week, representatives of major research institutions and leading IT companies came to CERN for a data analytics workshop organized by CERN openlab.

February 12, 2014

Karlheinz Meier, one of the three co-directors of Europe’s Human Brain Project, will deliver a keynote talk at this summer's ISC'14 event in Leipzig, Germany.

Funded by the European Commission, the Human Brain Project is an ambitious endeavor, with the intention of greatly advancing the understanding of the human brain using cutting-edge computer technologies.

January 29, 2014

The research is being led by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Click for full size image. Image courtesy CSIRO. © Copyright CSIRO Australia, January 2014.

January 29, 2014

Keith Cover of VU University Medical Centre explains how the computing power of the grid has been used to process thousands of MRI scans from patients with Alzheimer’s, opening the way to better evaluation of biomarkers for this disease in the future.

Cover and his team used open-source software to run analyses of brain imaging scans, in order to track volume changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Now the power of the grid has been used to test the accuracy of several software packages on a massive scale.

January 15, 2014

iSGTW recently interviewed Ewan Birney, associate director of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), regarding his keynote talk at the EUDAT 2nd Conference. In this interview, Birney raised the exciting prospect of using DNA as an organic data storage device. But could DNA storage really replace tapes and hard disks for long-term preservation of data? Charles Harvey investigates… 

November 20, 2013

Scientists from across the globe met in Switzerland last month for the launch of the Human Brain Project. However, building a computer to simulate the human brain is no easy task: in each cubic millimeter of brain tissue there are around 100,000 neurons, and each one makes contact with around 10,000 other neurons. Markus Diesmann, from Germany’s Jülich Research Centre, provides insight into the complexities surrounding this epic undertaking. He speaks about his work on simulating a circuit of the whole-brain network and discusses how specialized software can help represent the neurons and synapses of the full circuit. 

November 13, 2013

Video courtesy W.E. Sellers, et al. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078733.s010)

October 30, 2013

This week, iSGTW has been at the EUDAT Second Conference in Rome, Italy. EUDAT seeks to support a collaborative data infrastructure which will allow researchers to share data within and between communities and enable them to carry out their research effectively. Read our exclusive interviews with two of the events' most exciting speakers.

October 23, 2013

The EUBrazilOpenBio project has published a new joint action plan, outlining it's vision for increased cooperation to tackle biodiversity loss. The document marks an important step towards understanding how to address biodiversity challenges more effectively by creating a joint data and cloud infrastructure for Brazil and Europe. 

October 23, 2013

Liver fibrosis, a  kind of scarring of the liver's tissue, is usually diagnosed with a biopsy – an invasive surgical procedure to remove liver cells for lab testing. However, physicist Olivier Beuf believes that we can do better and has put together a team to develop an imaging technique that can be used in a clinical examination.

Using the European Grid Infrastructure, he and his team have developed a 3D map showing how fibrosis affects blood flow in a diseased liver. These 3D maps could provide a reliable alternative to the usual biopsy procedure and have the potential to improve patients' well-being, as well as our understanding of liver disease.

October 9, 2013

Ewan Birney, associate director of the European Bioinformatics Institute, says that biology has now transformed to become a 'big-data science'. Ahead of his keynote talk at this month’s EUDAT 2nd conference, he explains that the field faces both what he terms 'blue-' and 'white-collar problems' in handling this data deluge.

Plus, could DNA really be the future of data storage? Birney believes it could be. "DNA is remarkable," he says. "Just one gram of DNA can store about a petabyte’s worth of data… it's estimated that you could put the whole internet into the size of a van!"

October 2, 2013

Research at CERN featured prominently in discussion at ISC Big Data ’13, which was held last week in Heidelberg, Germany. The event focused on the future of handling big data, as well as big data as a crossroads where high-performance computing and enterprise meet.

September 25, 2013

With the 2nd EUDAT conference now just one month away, iSGTW speaks in depth to Richard Frackowiak, who will be giving the event’s opening keynote speech. Frackowiak is heavily involved in the EU's flagship Human Brain Project. He discusses the implications of this project for the future of computing and explains how big data is revolutionizing medicine.