Training programs such as this are integral to supporting a broad scope of biological questions.
The National Center for Genome Analysis Support (NCGAS) at Indiana University has received $627,854 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue its work helping scientists analyze, understand, and make use of the vast quantities of genomic information now available. In a separate, collaborative award, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has received $131,987 from NSF as part of the NCGAS renewal.
The three-year grant renewal will allow the center to develop and deliver services that meet a national need for support of genome analyses that includes consulting services, software enhancements, and computation for the national community of researchers. The center currently supports hundreds of scientists working on more than 40 long-term research projects all over the US.
The popular web portal Galaxy, which life scientists use to analyze a wide array of sequence data, has been extended to allow users to submit BLAST jobs that run on the Open Science Grid (OSG).
Staff at the National Center for Genome Analysis Support provided bioinformatic and computational resources to assist faculty and students from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to examine the bottom-up controls on phytoplankton growth.
Indiana University scientists are part of a consortium that has described the transcriptome (complete collection of RNAs produced by a genome) of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in unprecedented detail, identifying thousands of new genes, transcripts, and proteins.
The Consortium for Top Down Proteomics (CTDP) is a group of scientists from around the world focused on developing a unique approach to measuring modified proteins in complex mixtures such as blood or tissue samples. NCGAS and UITS Research Technologies have been supporting the CTDP's efforts with bioinformatic support.
A critical component of a successful genome sequencing project is to discover the genes contained within the genome. This step, called gene annotation, is particularly difficult. One approach to gene annotation is to sequence the RNA molecules found in the organism, and map these assembled transcripts back onto the newly assembled genome. This is what was done, with help from NCGAS, for the loblolly pine, which is at the center of a major multi-site sequencing effort.
Members of several groups within the national cyberinfrastructure, each of whom has a role in supporting life science research, wrote a Perspective piece titled “Leveraging the national cyberinfrastructure for biomedical research,” that was published in the "Big Data" issue of the Journal of the Americana Medical Informatics Association.