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Practical Innovation at BioCon 2003


myGrid: Directly Supporting the "e-Scientist"
Alan Robinson, EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute

Track: System Administration and Infrastructure
Date: Thursday, February 06
Time: 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Location: California Ballroom C

To date, grid development has focused on the basic issues of storage, computation, and resource management needed to make a global scientific community's information and tools accessible in a high performance environment. However, from the "e-Science" viewpoint, the purpose of the grid is to deliver a collaborative and supportive environment that enables geographically-distributed scientists to achieve research goals more effectively, while enabling their results to be used in developments elsewhere.

Robinson describes how using open standards, off-the-shelf middleware technologies, and Web services, and utilizing existing integration platforms, the myGrid project aims to integrate and extend technologies to provide an advanced e-Science environment. The particular focus of myGrid is on data-intensive e-Science and the provision of a distributed environment that supports the in silico experimental process -- enabling clients to seamlessly link together databases and analytical tools using process flows, extract relevant information from free texts, and harness available computational resources for CPU-intensive tasks. Plus, myGrid supports data provenance and resource change management based on notification and process flow evolution.

As a participant in the myGrid project, the EMBL-EBI is developing access to its bioinformatics archives and analysis tools through Web service technologies, using non-proprietary and open specifications.

The myGrid project is an EPSRC-funded collaboration between the University of Manchester (UK), the University of Newcastle (UK), the University of Nottingham (UK), the University of Sheffield (UK), the University of Southampton (UK), IT-Innovation (UK), and EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute. Industrial collaborators include: AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithkline, GeneticXchange, Merck KGaA, SUN Microsystems, IBM, Epistemics Ltd., and Network Inference.

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