|Press release from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and
Uppsala University 20050201
Scientists will more easily be able to find biological data when they search for information such as which genes are involved in certain diseases. Towards this goal, the Commission of the European Union has awarded 8.3 million Euro. The Linnaeus Centre for Bioinformatics (LCB, www.lcb.uu.se) in Uppsala is one of 17 institutions in 11 countries to receive a share in these funds.
The network receiving these millions is called the ”EMBRACE Network of Excellence”, and is coordinated from ”The European Bioinformatics Institute”, EBI, in the United Kingdom. The assignment is to simplify and standardize the
way in which the information in biological databases is made available to researchers throughout Europe.
Researchers in the life sciences depend on databases to store and access the enormous amount of new genetic information which is continually being produced. For example, geneticists are searching through the human genome looking for genes that are involved in diseases. The big problem is that researchers must search through ten or more different databases to find all the known data pertaining to the genes in question. Often the available methods for accessing the information differ, which further increases their workload.
”Many elegant and powerful computational biology tools are therefore under-utilized”, says Erik Bongcam-Rudloff from the LCB, who is a member of the EMBRACE Executive Board. ”EMBRACE will enable us to unlock their potential by standardizing access to them.”
The participants in this project will combine the databases at various institutes into a common resource which individual scientists can access through an interface which is as standardized as possible. This geographically distributed resource will become a ”data grid”, where the sum of the individual components becomes a single, easily accessed source of information.
To ensure that EMBRACE's efforts are useful to researchers as soon as possible, the first step will be to incorporate databases from the largest research institutes into the EMBRACE grid. A timeless technique will be used, and information about the system will be distributed to all researchers in the relevant disciplines. The idea is encourage researchers both to use EMBRACE when searching for information, and to connect their own databases to the grid as soon as possible.
For more information, contact:
Associate Professor Erik Bongcam-Rudloff
Linnaeus Centre for Bioinformatics
Direct phone: 018-471 66 96
Mobile: 070-425 07 57
The Linnaeus Centre for bioinformatics (LCB), was established after a major donation of 60 million SEK from Knut and Alice Wallenberg's foundation and a grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research of 7,5 million, and was inaugurated in 2002. The centre was formed to provide the biomedical research community, especially in the Uppsala area, with world-class competence in the field of bioinformatics.
At the LCB, which is a joint venture between SLU (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and Uppsala University, there are at present around thirty researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as administrative and technical staff.
The LCB is located at Uppsala Biomedical Centre (BMC, www.bmc.uu.se ) and is a centre for cutting-edge research in areas such as gene expression analysis, multifactorial gene detection studies, computational functional genomics, comparative genomics, molecular evolutionary biology and bioinformatic studies of tRNA. The LCB is a meeting-point for the three cornerstones of bioinformatics; biomedicine, computer science and mathematics.
Read more at www.lcb.uu.se
SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, is a university with a clearly defined role in society: to take responsibility for the development of learning and expertise in areas concerning biological resources and biological production. This responsibility stretches over the wide-ranging fields of agriculture, forestry and food industry to environmental questions, veterinary medicine and biotechnology.
Read more at www.slu.se
Uppsala University is the oldest university in the Nordic countries. Research and education take place within nine faculties; Theology, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Arts, Languages, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, and Educational Sciences . Read more at www.uu.se