Project Premonition: bringing researchers together to detect diseases before they become an outbreak

Mosquitoes. They can ruin your backyard barbeque and leave you covered with itchy welts. Or, their bites may also transmit dangerous pathogens. The World Health Organization estimates that mosquito-borne diseases kill more than 1 million people annually. In fact, mosquitoes do more than just transmit pathogens. Their ability to locate and sample the blood of many species…


Literome: extracting knowledge from biomedical publications

As any researcher knows, keeping up with scientific knowledge isn’t easy. This is especially true in the field of medical genetics, where advances in DNA sequencing technology have led to an exponential growth of genomics data. Such data hold the key to identifying disease genes and drug targets, because complex diseases inevitably stem from synergistic…


New hope for people living with paralysis

When we released the Lab of Things a year ago, we knew that it would benefit researchers experimenting with connected devices in various domains. It has been very gratifying to see how the Lab of Things has helped to accelerate research on helping people with disabilities to live more independent lives. Essentially, the Lab of…


Cancer research benefits from NodeXL network graph analysis

A diagnosis of cancer can be particularly foreboding for any patient. However, new treatments become possible as we learn more about the disease, and the application of research techniques more commonly found in the social sciences are now providing new insights. Although medical investigators have been studying cancer for decades, only recently have they focused…


Interactive genomics: querying genomes across the cloud

Big data: you can hardly pick up a newspaper without reading about some new scientific or business acumen derived from mining some heretofore-untouched volumes of digital information. Well, I’m happy to say that genome sequence data—which certainly qualifies as big, both in volume and velocity—is joining the party, and in a most meaningful way. When…


Remedying the search for reliable drug info

Healthcare providers increasingly appreciate the value of patients having access to accurate and understandable information about their health and treatments. This is why Microsoft Research’s Dan Morris and a team of researchers at Columbia University, led by Professor Lauren Wilcox, have been working to develop Patient Friendly Medical Displays that automatically create simplified, personalized, plain-language views…


eScience Takes the Stage at Latin American Workshop

Big Data: these words are on the lips of researchers everywhere these days. But it’s more than a catch phrase—it’s a reality in the burgeoning world of eScience, as investigators strive to make sense of the seemingly endless flow of new information. Nowhere is the push to understand Big Data stronger than in Brazil, where…


Predicting the Effects of Changes on Living Systems

Can scientists predict what happens when they introduce a change into a living system—for example, if they change the structure of a gene or administer a drug? Just as changing one letter can completely change the meaning of a word, the change of a single letter of the genetic code (referred to as a single…


Cloud Computing Unlocks Drug Discovery

Antibiotics, antivirals, NSAIDs—the list of modern “wonder drugs” goes on and on. And yet many diseases remain resistant to drug therapy, and in other instances, the side effects of drug treatment are as bad as or worse than the disorder. Why, the public wonders, aren’t more new and better drugs coming to market?  The answer, in…


Supercomputing on Demand with Windows Azure

Think about supercomputers of the recent past. Just 15 years ago, supercomputers were rare and exotic machines. Government laboratories in the United States and Japan spent hundreds of millions of dollars on custom computing rigs and specialized facilities to house them, in a bid to tackle the world’s toughest problems. But now there is an…