iSGTW - International Science Grid This Week
iSGTW - International Science Grid This Week

Home > iSGTW 22 July 2009

Issue 134: iSGTW 22 July 2009


Computing enables identification of microbe DNA in soil

At Argonne National Laboratory computational biologists Folker Meyer and Elizabeth Glass view charts of metagenomic data analysed using grid computing resources.

Image courtesy of ANL.

The traditional method for studying a microbe is to cultivate it in the lab and examine its biology in detail. However, lab cultivation is possible for only a small fraction of microbe species. Scientists have thus turned to metagenomics – the computation-reliant study of DNA extracted from environmental samples rather than from cultivated organisms.

In metagenomics, scientists grind up samples containing many different organisms and extract all the DNA they can, not knowing which pieces of DNA came from which organisms. A one-gram soil sample can contain up to several million species of microbes all mixed together. The scientists sequence small, random fragments of the DNA to identify species and determine how they function, explained Jonathan Eisen, University of California, Davis researcher and head of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project of the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute, which aims to catalogue genomic data for all major branches of microorganisms.

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Bernard Maréchal, project coordinator for EELA-2 (E-science grid facility for Europe and Latin America), shares his thoughts on the challenges of implementing grid technology.

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Feature - Supercomputing

 Supercomputing promises super-insight

Humans and chimpanzees are closely related – even closer than mice are to rats. That’s why the slight differences between the two species could provide valuable insight into the origin and evolution of humans.

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Farewell of the week

/U.S.-based editor moves on

Wow — what a great year I’ve had, working with Dan Drollette to bring your stories to the greater grid community and to help this community grow and cross-pollinate.

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Link of the week

/Virtual Observatory link round-up

The worldwide Virtual Observatory grid brings a whole new meaning to amateur grid.

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 iSGTW 22 December 2010

Feature – Army of Women allies with CaBIG for online longitudinal studies

Special Announcement - iSGTW on Holiday

Video of the Week - Learn about LiDAR


NeHC launches social media

PRACE announces third Tier-0 machine

iRODS 2011 User Group Meeting

Jobs in distributed computing


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 Mark your calendar

December 2010

13-18, AGU Fall Meeting

14-16, UCC 2010

17, ICETI 2011 and ICSIT 2011

24, Abstract Submission deadline, EGI User Forum


January 2011

11, HPCS 2011 Submission Deadline

11, SPCloud 2011

22, ALENEX11

30 Jan – 3 Feb, ESCC/Internet2


February 2011

1 - 4, GlobusWorld '11

2, Lift 11

15 - 16, Cloudscape III

More calendar items . . .


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