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$50 million NSF grant to advance cyberinfrastructure for big data in life sciences
Date:9/18/2013

ommunicate and work together as they share, analyze and manipulate data, all while seeking answers to biology's greatest unsolved problems," said Stephen Goff, iPlant's principal investigator and project director based at the UA. "iPlant's mission is to merge ever-evolving computational technology and shared data capabilities with collaborative human brainpower, essentially changing the way we approach life science research. The iPlant cyberinfrastructure is designed to utilize cutting-edge software applications and storage capabilities that are becoming imperative for life scientists to access, analyze and create knowledge from the large datasets being generated by new technologies."

Advances in biological research technology have enabled scientists to amass unlimited and unprecedented amounts of data. In the past, these scientists were able to meet computational challenges in their labs using workstations and university computer clusters. Now, they are finding that these resources are unable keep up at the same rate as data is acquired. According to Nirav Merchant, iPlant's cyberinfrastructure faculty advisor at the UA, "We've always had big data, but now we have the usable tools and technology to act on it."

UA participants in the iPlant Collaborative include the BIO5 Institute; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Department of Plant Sciences; the College of Science's Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; the School of Information: Science, Technology, and Arts; the College of Engineering's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; the Arizona Research Laboratories' Biotechnology Computing Facility; and University Information Technology Services.

Fernando Martinez, director of the UA BIO5 Institute said, "In the model of BIO5 and the University of Arizona in general, iPlant brings together many different types of scientists, teachers, and students who otherwise might no
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Contact: Daniel Stolte
stolte@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert

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