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University of Liverpool secures £1.8 million investment to tackle bioscience big data challenges

The University of Liverpool has been awarded £1.78 million, as part of the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) £7.5 million investment to tackle bioscience big data challenges.

The Liverpool team, in a partnership led by the University of Warwick, aim to develop and support bioinformatics tools for analysing Next Generation sequencing data in plant sciences.

Professor Anthony Hall, from the University’s Institute of Integrative Biology, said: “Biologist are continuously swamped by large amounts of data and analysing it requires powerful computers and expertise.

“This new project, called iPlant UK, aims to democratise access to shared hardware and software tools, empowering lab scientist to work collaboratively with big data.”

Biological discovery is increasingly being driven by ground-breaking technologies, such as high-throughput genomic analysis and next generation biological imaging, which generate massive and complex datasets. In order to investigate complex biological phenomena, researchers need access to comprehensive, integrated data resources that are accessible for the whole community.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC chief executive, said: “We experience problems coping with our own local data storage – videos, picture and other media take up huge amounts of space on our home computers. In life sciences, the data required for research is unimaginably larger and growing at unprecedented rates.”

Image used under wikimedia creative commons license.

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