Nav: Home

New training platform for big data analysis

July 19, 2018

Studies indicate that more than 95 per cent of researchers in the life sciences are already working with big data or plan to do so - but more than 65 per cent state that they only have minimal knowledge of bioinformatics and statistics. "Many are currently lacking training and instruction in this area - that's the real bottleneck that is making broader use of data science methods difficult," says bioinformatician Dr. Björn Grüning of the University of Freiburg. He is coordinating the Galaxy Europe project, which aims to remedy this with interactive, community-based and freely-available online tutorials on data analysis in the life sciences. The participating researchers have presented their project in the journal Cell Systems.

Galaxy, an open source platform enabling the analysis of big data for life sciences, can be accessed by scientists via an Internet browser. It requires no programming skills: all settings can be made using a graphic interface. In order to make it easier for other researchers to get started, the Galaxy team has set up a series of tutorials: using a "research story", based on real datasets, users learn step-by-step how they can apply the analytical tools of Galaxy to their work. In addition, all tutorials provide basic knowledge of bioinformatics and statistics. "We want to avoid researchers just using the software like a "Black Box" without understanding what methods these tools are applying and what they can do," explains Grüning. Another goal is to involve scientists around the world in a collaboration to constantly expand the range of tutorials on offer - a combination of the community approach and the Galaxy platform make this possible: more than 60 researchers from all round the world have already contributed to the training material.

After being initiated at Penn State University in the USA, Galaxy was further developed at the University of Freiburg in the Medical Epigenetics special research area and as part of the Deutsches Netzwerk für Bioinformatik-Infrastruktur (German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure, de.NBI). The project's European server, which is run by Björn Grüning's team from the work group of Prof. Dr. Rolf Backofen at the Institute of Computer Science, is situated in the IT Services Center at the University of Freiburg.
Original publication

Bérénice Batut, Saskia Hiltemann, Andrea Bagnacani et al. (2018): Community-driven data analysis training for biology. In: Cell Systems.

More information

Training Material

Galaxy Project

University of Freiburg

Related Bioinformatics Articles:

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F.
Advances: Bioinformatics applied to development & evaluation of boron-containing compounds
The interest for developing boron-containing compounds as drugs is increasing after some successful cases.
When life sciences become data sciences
The University of Freiburg offers Europe-wide infrastructure and service in Bioinformatics.
Bioinformatics brings to light new combinations of drugs to fight breast cancer
A bioinformatics analysis of pairing 64 drugs used to treat breast cancer allows researchers at IRB Barcelona to identify 10 previously untested combinations with potential to tackle resistance to breast cancer treatment.
New bioinformatics tool tests methods for finding mutant genes that 'drive' cancer
Computational scientists and cancer experts have devised bioinformatics software to evaluate how well current strategies distinguish cancer-promoting mutations from benign mutations in cancer cells.
EDGE bioinformatics brings genomics to everyone
A new bioinformatics platform called Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise (EDGE) will help democratize the genomics revolution by allowing users with limited bioinformatics expertise to quickly analyze and interpret genomic sequence data.
VirusDetect, a new bioinformatics pipeline for virus identification released
A new bioinformatics analysis tool developed by researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute can help scientists to identify all known and novel viruses and viroids within small RNA datasets on a local to global scale.
RHAPSODY, a European symphony for personalized health of diabetes
The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is part of a European consortium project -- coined RHAPSODY -- which reunites researchers and experts from 26 partner institutions in both the public and private sectors.
Bioinformatics software is developed to predict the effect of cancer-associated mutations
Biology and computing have joined forces to create a piece of software that analyses mutations in proteins; these mutations are potential inducers of diseases, such as cancer.
New book highlights research in emerging field of video bioinformatics
The first book to review the emerging interdisciplinary field of video bioinformatics was published in December by Springer.

Related Bioinformatics Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".