Focused Technical Workshop: Network Issues for Life Sciences Research
Stephen Wolff of Internet2 and Inder Monga of ESnet hosted this Focused Technical Workshop and welcomed the participants. During the two-day workshop, three keynoters and four expert panels explored advanced networking, cloud and storage architectures, workflow engines, science gateways, and Big Data transport.
Jay Keasling, associate lab director for biosciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, opened the workshop with the amazing story of artemisinin, a drug derived from the sweet wormwood plant and the main ingredient in the most effective treatment for malaria. To create a reliable supply of the drug, Keasling’s team inserted a gene for its production into yeast, and a public-private partnership developed a complete and efficient biosynthetic pathway for its large-scale production. Keasling envisions a day when we will have user manuals and parts catalogs to enable the microbial synthesis of a wide array of compounds including biofuels that do not increase net carbon emissions.
Throughout the workshop distinguished technologists and scientists discussed the challenges that arise while conducting data-intensive scientific research. George Komatsoulis, chief information officer of the National Cancer Institute, described NCI’s vision of cancer genomics clouds to provide storage and compute resources for any cancer researcher, and Adam Arkin described the Department of Energy’s KBase, a knowledge framework for systems biology.
A panel of network experts examined various technologies used to assure end-to-end high performance networking, while other presenters discussed workflow management systems, portals, and gateways, specialized network protocols and tools designed to move massive data sets.
A workshop report and videos of the workshop sessions will be posted online once they become available. Stay tuned…