A reliable TARDIS for precious research data

Apr 03, 2013
A reliable TARDIS for precious research data

Groundbreaking technology to securely store, transmit and share the massive amounts of raw data used in scientific research has supported several high-profile discoveries only two years after it was rolled out.

Discoveries including the secret to the activation of an enzyme, , that breaks down blood clots, the mapping of an antibacterial, PlyC, that could be a viable alternative to antibiotics, and the mechanism by which perforin, a protein vital to the immune system destroys in the body, were all supported by an data management system developed at Monash University.

The MyTARDIS system was developed by Monash Associate Professor Ashley Buckle in partnership with Steve Androulakis from the Monash e-Research Centre (MeRC). The innovative program collects and catalogues research data, from, for example, the Australian Synchrotron, making it searchable, then securely transmits it back to the researcher's institution for analysis.

Associate Professor Buckle said the system was one of very few worldwide to address the problem of more effective management of research data.

"There is an international push to make not only research findings, but the supporting data publicly available," Associate Professor Buckley said.

"With MyTARDIS we are leading the pack and facilitating transparency, which will benefit research outcomes overall."

MyTARDIS also allows the data to be shared publicly, a cause championed by the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council. The PlyC, perforin and plasmin studies, all led by Monash researchers, are among the first with full datasets available for use by other scientists.

MeRC Director Professor Paul Bonnington said a deliberate embedding of software engineers with researchers ensured the input of the end-users - scientists - at every step of the development process.

"We understand that are on a 'journey of the unknown' and that the technology requirements are not understood at the start of the research," Professor Bonnington said.

"We find that if we build the IT infrastructure and systems as the research progresses in an iterative manner with the software engineer working as part of the research team, the resulting IT systems are far more likely to meet the needs of the research community and to deliver real impact."

Currently being used by more than 10 institutions nationally including the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, MyTARDIS could easily be rolled out internationally.

Explore further: US official: Auto safety agency under review

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Clot-busting enzyme plays 'peek-a-boo' with blood clots

Mar 08, 2012

By discovering how a blood clot-busting enzyme is switched on, researchers have unlocked a century-old atomic riddle that could lead to new treatments for clotting and bleeding disorders, and some cancers.

New recruits in the fight against disease

Jul 23, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists have discovered the structure and operating procedures of a powerful anti-bacterial killing machine that could become an alternative to antibiotics.

How do we kill rogue cells? Assassin's tricks revealed

Oct 31, 2010

A team of Melbourne and London researchers have shown how a protein called perforin punches holes in, and kills, rogue cells in our bodies. Their discovery of the mechanism of this assassin is published today ...

The magic of the movies - molecules in 4D

Jul 16, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Computer simulations of how the body's tiniest building blocks behave are helping scientists to unlock the role of molecules in human diseases. 

Clot-busting enzymes are working two jobs

Oct 04, 2012

The body's blood clot-busting enzymes are much busier than previously imagined, with new research showing that they also dispose of every cell that dies prematurely from disease or trauma.

Recommended for you

US official: Auto safety agency under review

17 hours ago

Transportation officials are reviewing the "safety culture" of the U.S. agency that oversees auto recalls, a senior Obama administration official said Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been criticized ...

Christian Bale to play Apple's Steve Jobs

Oct 23, 2014

Oscar-winner Christian Bale—best known for his star turn as Batman in the blockbuster "Dark Knight" films—will play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in an upcoming biopic.

How to find a submarine

Oct 23, 2014

Das Boot, The Hunt for Red October, The Bedford Incident, We Dive At Dawn: films based on submariners' experience reflect the tense and unusual nature of undersea warfare – where it is often not how well ...

Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles (Update)

Oct 22, 2014

The U.S. government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of potential danger to drivers and passengers. But the effort is being complicated by confusing ...

User comments : 0