Using millions of gigs of data to improve human health

Feb 20, 2013

With biomedical scientists struggling to collect and analyze millions of gigabytes of data in their efforts to improve human health, the National Institutes of Health has launched a $700 million project to develop a common data-sharing framework and start training future scientists to tap that gold mine of information. That's the topic of a story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Britt E. Erickson, C&EN senior editor, explains that biomedical researchers are beginning to tap into a gold mine of nontraditional sources of data to unravel some of the complexities of human diseases. That's especially true for common diseases for which there is significant interplay between genetic variants and environmental stressors. But there is so much data being generated from so many different disciplines that it is a challenge to integrate it all.

The story describes a plan from the NIH, called Big Data to Knowledge, to bring all of the data together into one common data-sharing framework that is easily accessible by researchers. Universities will train students in data sciences so that they can better access and process the data. The integration of all of the data will allow for improved efficiency in research to help treat and cure some of the world's diseases, the story states.

Explore further: When it comes to how pizza looks, cheese matters

More information: Article: Drowning in Data, Chemical & Engineering News.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A birth control pill for men? When?

Sep 26, 2012

When will men have their own birth control pill? Scientists have been predicting the debut of a male pill within 5 years for the last 30 years. The factors accounting for that delay—and new optimism that a male pill will ...

Forensic science on trial

Sep 12, 2012

The key player in a movement challenging improper use of DNA testing and other elements of forensic science is the topic of a compelling cover story in this week's edition of Chemical & Engineering News. The story in the ...

The pros and cons of 'ecolabels' in cleaning products

Jan 30, 2013

The environmental certification seals, preferred ingredient lists and consumer product guides appearing on cleaning products in the United States and abroad are the topic of the cover story in Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN i ...

The '$1,000 genome' may cost $100,000 to understand

May 11, 2011

Advances in technology have almost lifted the curtain on the long-awaited era of the "$1,000 genome" — a time when all the genes that make up a person can be deciphered for about that amount – compared to nearly ...

Recommended for you

When it comes to how pizza looks, cheese matters

Aug 21, 2014

Most consumers have an idea what they want their pizza slice to look like. Golden cheese with that dark toasted-cheese color scattered in distinct blistery patches across the surface with a bit of oil glistening in the valleys. ...

Freedom and responsibility of science

Aug 21, 2014

Yesterday, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences presented their recommendations for "The Freedom and Responsibility of Science" in Berlin. Both research organizations appeal ...

What I learned from debating science with trolls

Aug 20, 2014

I often like to discuss science online and I'm also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably ...

Activists urge EU to scrap science advisor job

Aug 19, 2014

Nine major charities urged the European Commission on Tuesday to scrap a science advisor position it says puts too much power over sensitive policy into the hands of one person.

User comments : 0