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{bio,medical} informatics

Friday, July 07, 2000

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BioInform DOE Mulls Genomics Web Portal
"HIGHER-UPS at the US Department of Energy hope to launch a genomics Web portal that could vastly expand and improve public data access. Trevor Hawkins, deputy director of DOE’s Joint Genome Institute, told BioInform that work has just begun on an initiative that he began promoting last year.

The as yet unnamed site would be “a sort of bio Yahoo,” Hawkins said. He described the portal as a “layer cake” that would host genomic tools and information such as gene expression, protein structure, and clinical data."

"“We think portals of this type will be among the most important resources as we become data dominated and comprehension limited,” Branscomb said.

The site would have different goals from the US National Institutes of Health’s GenBank, according to Branscomb. “Everyone realizes that current portals such as GenBank are far from what we need. The challenge to us would be to lead the world in trying to provide the best tools for and best insight into comparative genomics”"

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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