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Bio Saga

Thursday, June 12, 2008

EBI-Led Consortium to Study How to Turn EU Bio-Databases Into Bioinformatic Network

The European Commission has awarded €4.5 million ($7 million) to a consortium of 32 research organizations, universities, and companies from 13 countries to determine how to transform Europe’s biomedical data resources into a transnational “sustainable integrative bioinformatics network” for the life sciences.
The consortium is led by the European Bioinformatics Institute. The first year and a half of this project, called ELIXIR, for European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information, is aimed at gathering input, performing technical-feasibility studies, and doing user surveys among researchers who generate and use data, and develop tools.

Much like the Oxford English Dictionary, which will remain useful as long as people speak English, so, too, will “the infrastructure for biological information … continue as long as people are interested in biology, health, and medicine,” she said.

But provisions must be made to allow that to happen, including upgrading the infrastructure itself, promoting database interoperability, and using distributed annotation technologies.

ELIXIR will not unfold with “a big bang” but rather evolve in stages. And it does not solely concern the lions of the European database world such as EBI and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, said Thornton. There are internationally collaboratively maintained databases such as InterPro and IntAct, and also many small ones.
According to Thornton, of the world’s approximately 900 biomedical databases, 40 percent are in Europe, many of which are specialist databases. “They are often in an individual’s laboratory; a research group may have developed a data resource that other people begin to use, and we really need to find a way to incorporate those data resources into the larger network in a way that people can access them easily and without necessarily knowing that they were there in the first place,” she said.
ELIXIR will help link the core and the specialist resources more closely while remaining as “seamless and transparent as possible to our users,” said Thornton. Clicking through databases from link to link is possible for researchers, she said, but clickthrough gymnastics becomes an impossible exercise when a microarray delivers a list of hundreds of genes that must be analyzed with a systems perspective, requiring data to be plowed and mined that is stored in different ways with differing vocabularies.

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Life Science and Informatics

What is this?
is this a new industry?
or a old wine in a new bottle?

Well Life Sciences and Informatics can be anything form computational biology, all omes and omics, core bioinformatics to curation and literature mining, database creation, in the area of biology, chemistry , bio-chem space.

There are number of companies in India and bangalore is the forefront as a major bio-cluster with 20 to 30 companies in this sphere.

now how good are these companies doing?
how good are they in terms of the international markets and how profitable is their business?
what do they do?
their clients?

These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

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