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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, March 26, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. O'Reilly Network Business Computing Isn't Where The Action Is Going to Be
"The conjunction of hacker interest in science, the enormous commercial potential of genomics, proteomics and other bioinformatics disciplines, and the availability of cheaper supercomputing via distributed computation, seem to me to be an explosive mix."

"Every time we've had a radical lowering of the barriers of entry into a computing market, that market has exploded. The industry-standard IBM PC architecture liberated software developers from the need to work for hardware vendors; the open standards of the internet, plus the simplicity of HTML, and the power of scripting languages, allowed content providers to build the information applications that we now take for granted on the web. Now, hackers and scientists are working together to break down the barriers to discovery."

"Scientific computing is going to be where the action is."
redux [09.07.00]
find related articles. powered by google. ScienceDaily Supercomputers Help University Of Idaho Scientists Explore Genetics And Bioinformatics
"The mapping of the human genome is the tip of the iceberg that is the biological information revolution.

University of Idaho computer scientists and mathematicians are joining biologists to explore new ways to interpret the complex genetic information that describes all living things and their relationships.

Along the way, UI students returning to school this fall will find a new course few schools could hope to offer: building a new supercomputer."

"The students will work on every step of the project, from determining the requirements the supercomputer must meet, though the purchase, assembly, software selection and installation. "They are involved from start to finish. It should be a great experience for them," Heckendorn added." ""It's commodity computing. If you can only buy commodity computers and hook them together with the right stuff in the right way, you can get supercomputing power," he said. Although multi-million dollar specialty supercomputers still dominate the high end of the market, Beowulf-style supercomputers are gaining."

redux [07.25.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Advogato Hacking your genome
"Are you a hacker? Do you yearn for something more important to work on than yet-another-gnome-applet? Are you annoyed that you can't find a problem that is fun to code and stretches your brain in new ways... bioinformatics might be the answer."

"The amount of data is growing faster than anyone expected and only a handful of people can both remain with academic ideals and coding potential. We need hackers to join any number of projects out there. And there are a host to join. If you just liking hacking perl or you prefer compiler technology, there is something to suit you."

redux [09.20.00]
find related articles. powered by google. ITWorld An alternative to .Net
"We often mention distributed computing models: JavaSpaces, Sash, BizTalk, WebL, and so on. Our lead column in August gave particular attention to the technical prospects for Microsoft's .NET initiative. Piper is an alternative to those models, and .NET in particular, on both engineering and business levels.

Microsoft, for example, has specific business motivations with .NET that involve licensing issues and how the company is paid for its products. Crudely, Microsoft wants to use .NET capabilities to ensure it receives payment every time its software is used. Piper, in contrast, is a free software project to make "anything and everything buildable by linking small components," even across a network, according to J.W. Bizzaro, director of "

"Moreover, Piper's connections are considerably richer than Unix's pipes. Rather than just a one-way, unstructured datafeed, Piper "[l]inks can depict protocol-independent data flow, procedural steps, and relationships," according to one Piper document. Moreover, those links "can merge or split streams."

Most compelling of all, perhaps, is the opportunity to escape the confines of a single desktop and access resources throughout a rich network. Piper knows how to do that, too."

redux [04.05.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Wired Researcher Borrows from Napster
"A researcher working on the Human Genome Project is using Napster technology, and he's not looking for T3 connections to download Moby.

Dr. Lincoln Stein, an associate professor of bioinformatics at the Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York, is investigating ways to use Napster-type technology to allow scientists to share their discoveries of the genome.

"I was very interested when I saw Napster," Stein said. "It has a similar architecture (to what we use now), but it allows for 'peer-to-peer' data exchange and it dawned on me that it would be marvelous for our annotation system.""
find related articles. powered by google. Stein Laboratory Distributed Sequence Annotation System (DAS)
"The pace of human genomic sequencing has outstripped the ability of sequencing centers to annotate and understand the sequence prior to submitting it to the archival databases. Multiple third-party groups have stepped into the breach and are currently annotating the human sequence with a combination of computational and experimental methods. Their analytic tools, data models, and visualization methods are diverse, and it is self-evident that this diversity enhances, rather than diminishes, the value of their work."

"The solution that we advocate allows sequence annotation to be decentralized among multiple third-party annotators and integrated on an as-needed basis by client-side software. A single server is designated the "reference server." It serves essential structural information about the genome: the physical map which relates one entry to another (where an "entry" is an arbitrary segment of the sequence, such as a sequenced BAC or a contig), the DNA sequence for each entry, and the standard authorship information. Multiple sites then act as third-party "annotation servers." Using a web browser-like application, researchers can interrogate one or more annotation servers to retrieve features in a region of interest. The servers return the results using a standard data format, allowing the sequence browser to integrate the annotations and display them in graphical or tabular form. No attempt is made to automatically resolve contradictions between different third-party annotations. Indeed, it is the ability to facilitate comparison among different centers' annotations that distinguish this proposal. We currently have a working prototype of this system based on ACeDB servers and CGI scripts, and are now generalizing this architecture to support other client and server combinations."

[ rhetoric ]

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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