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NIH Laptop Theft: How Safe Is Your Data?
Dealing with the Data Deluge: Three Things IT Should Do 
Helicos' Kristen Stoops on Next-Gen Data Management
Other Bio-IT Stories of Interest 

Commentary: Is it Time to Retire the Mainframe?


NIH Laptop Theft: How Safe Is Your Data?
By Salvatore Salamone

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported on a laptop stolen from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that contained clinical trial data of 2,500 patients.

The article noted that the laptop "was stolen in February, potentially exposing seven years' worth of clinical trial data, including names, medical diagnoses, and details of the patients' heart scans. The information was not encrypted, in violation of the government's data-security policy."

There are so many things troubling about this theft and they should all serve as a reminder about the risk inherent when data is on laptops and the responsibilities organizations have to protect that data.

First, even though the laptop was stolen in February, the NIH delayed notifying patients about the breach until last week -- roughly a month later -- for fear of this would "provoke undue alarm." Duh. If the data was compromised (and there is no indication that it has been), waiting a month would give thieves an incredible head start during which they could potentially use the information to do damage. Fortunately, while the data in this incident contained names and birthdays, it did not have Social Security Numbers, phone numbers, or patient addresses. Read more.

Dealing with the Data Deluge: Three Things IT Should Do
By Salvatore Salamone

It's no secret that life sciences organizations must deal with ever-growing volumes of data. New lab equipment, lab automation, and computer simulations are increasingly generating more and larger data files, all of which must be stored, backed up, and managed.

Unfortunately, the data management challenge will likely only get worse. The life sciences, like many other fields, are undergoing an unprecedented data explosion, according to new research released this month by IDC.

In the study "The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe," IDC estimates that by 2011, the total amount of electronic data created and stored will grow to 10 times the 180 exabytes that existed in 2006. That represents a compound annual growth rate of almost 60 percent.  Read more.


Helicos BioSciences' Kristen Stoops on Next-Gen Data Management

Bio-IT World's Kevin Davies interviews Helicos BioSciences' Director of Bioinformatics Kristen Stoops, who is building a federation of IT vendors to identify best practices that will help users manage torrents of data. Read more.

Other Bio-IT Stories of Interest 

As IBM Approaches the Petaflop, Attention Turns to Exascale Computing

Add-On Speed for Bioinformatics 
Compute Power Delivers Across Fields 



Mayo Clinic – Job #19191 - Unit Head – IT
Location:  Rochester, MN.  Oversee software development and support for research and operational activities for Health Sciences Research and Nursing Research departments. Recruit, manage, and mentor IT personnel; provide budget administration, client/vendor management, strategic planning and project coordination, planning, and estimating. Qualifications:  BS degree in computer science or similar field (master’s in computer science, management or health/clinical informatics desirable), and 6+ years’ professional IT.  Apply online at:

Mayo Clinic – Job #19178- Unit Head – IT
Location:  Rochester, MN.  Responsible for project coordination, planning and estimating, as well as budget administration, client/vendor management and strategic planning; plus coordinating technical resources that support research projects, journal publications, grant/contract preparation and scholarly activities. Qualifications: BS degree in computer science or a related field plus 6+ years’ IT experience.  Apply online at: 

Titian Software - US Support Engineer
Become a key member of our Support staff by providing “best in class” services to our customers. Investigate, diagnose, resolve, and be responsible for resolution of customer support issues and liaise with our UK Software Development team to suggest, request and perform code and product changes based on field experience. For more information and to apply:  

Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery (LSCDD) - Associate Director of Informatics,
Lead and mentor a strong team for the Bioinformatics group at the Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) department at LSCDD towards the development of novel algorithms, data analysis methods and software tools for drug discovery. Work closely with the Software Engineering group at ICS, and collaborate with the Discovery IT organization in Europe and USA. For additional information, or to apply visit:

Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery (LSCDD)- Senior Bioinformatics Scientist,Contribute to the development of novel algorithms, data analysis methods and software tools for drug discovery as part of the Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) department at LSCDD.  Work closely with informatics and software engineering peers at ICS, and collaborate with the Discovery IT organization in Europe and USA. The successful candidate will offer hands-on insight and expertise in tailored therapeutic informatics and statistical analyses at the post-genomic era. For additional information, or to apply visit: LSCDD   

Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery
(LSCDD) -Senior Software Engineer,
Join a strong team of software engineers in our Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) at LSCDD. Collaborate with, and help develop integrated applications to process and visualize data from cutting-edge technologies used by scientists at Lilly Research Labs (LRL) and the Drug Discovery Research (DDR) teams. The Software Engineering team provides computational tools and tailored software solutions that enable the global effort of Tailored Therapeutics; ‘The Right Drug, at The Right Dose for The Right Patient at The Right Time'. For additional information, or to apply visit: LSCDD  

Agilent Technologies-Asia Pacific - Job Requisition: 2021927
Job Title :   Application Engineer and Implementation Specialist for Lab Informatics Platform
Location(s) :  Bangalore, India.  Project management: small to large scale implementations, including integration/ validation of Agilent’s software platform.  Manage assigned customer account relationship, customer satisfaction and education of future Agilent plans.  On time and on budget implementation, focus Pharma, Petro and Chemical markets.  Qualifications:  BS/’MS Degree in Computer Engineering, or other related discipline or equivalent. Apply 

Agilent Technologies-Asia Pacific - Job Requisition:2021658, Job Title : Product Specialist – Laboratory Informatics Location(s) :  Bangalore, India.  Proactively understand customer needs and identify solutions to actively create business opportunities.  Manage a complex, enterprise solution sale with long sales cycle.  Develop approaches to achieve quota strategies.  Lead coordinated projects across organizations.  Solve complex broad range of problems.  Qualifications:  BS/MS Degree in Sciences, Engineering, Computer or equivalent plus 5 to 8 years work experience. Apply 

More Life Science Jobs ~ Add a Job Listing 



IIR - 12th Annual EDC & Beyond, April 14-16, 2008, Las Vegas, NV
InforSense Translational Research Symposium, May 2,2008, Boston, MA 

The First International Workshop on Label-free biosensing  April  8-9, 2008,  Enschede, The Netherlands 

BioInformatics Asia 2008, April 14-17, Singapore

The Post-Approval Summit  May 14-15, 2008, The Conference Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 

The 1st Symposium on Protein Tomography -- May 1, 2008, Boston, MA

Med-e-Tel, The International Educational and Networking Forum for eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT, 16-18 April in Luxembourg. 

TEPR 2008 -- May 17-21, 2008 Ft. Lauderdale,FL 

Laboratory Informatics -- March 25-April 3, 2008, San Francisco CA.

Lean Six Sigma for Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Excellence -- February 25-27, 2008, Philadelphia, PA.

Best Practices Awards Program -- April 29, 2008, Boston, MA 

MIT Professional Institute - 2008 Short Courses   Cambridge,MA  

GOT Summit: Getting Optimized Tools for Diagnostics - May 19-21, 2008, Boston,MA

To have your event featured here, contact Lynn Cloonan for more information.

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Is it Time to Retire the Mainframe?
By Salvatore Salamone

The short answer is, of course, no.

Essentially, the mainframe continues to be used for many critical back-office applications, but increasingly its features - high performance, high availability, etc. - have made it suitable for other roles, including being a monster-sized server for use with Web, database, and other applications.

In a recent New York Times story about why old technologies tend to stick around, the mainframe was cited as a prime example.

The article noted that over the years many experts have predicted the demise of the mainframe, but it still hangs in there and for good reason: It continues to do the job. In particular, the article noted: "The mainframe survived its near-death experience and continues to thrive because customers didn't care about the underlying technology," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, who led the technical transformation of the mainframe in the early 1990s and is now a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Certainly, inertia has kept many organizations from shifting away from their mainframes. But they face increased competition from clusters and high-performance shared memory systems based on 64-bit, multi-core processors. Ironically, this technology, which is being used in systems that are replacing mainframes, has been incorporated into mainframes to prolong their life.


SGI's Meeting Today’s Computational Needs for Science

The quest to better understand disease mechanisms and find new treatments is driven by new laboratory technologies and ever-more sophisticated modeling and simulation efforts. As such, life sciences R&D investigations increasingly are relying on more powerful computing resources. The challenge is how to accommodate the broad mix of applications.
Addressing this issue, this paper produced by the Bio-IT World Custom Publishing Group discusses a new SGI Hybrid Computing Environment approach. It optimally uses shared memory systems, multi-processor clusters, and FPGAs to accelerate computational workflows. Download This Free Paper 

SGI's Supercharging Proteomics Discovery

The deeper study of proteins and their interactions can reveal scientific information once considered nearly untouchable to scientists and researchers. Today, unprecedented advancements in computing power are enabling the creation of mounds of proteomic based data along with the accompanying bottlenecks data can create.  Rather than just “simplify the experiment” to fit the computational resources an alternative is now available with the SGI Proteomics Appliance. This complimentary white paper, produced by the Bio-IT World Custom Publishing Group, looks at ways to use the Proteomic Appliance to handle the most intensive proteomics computing tasks facing science today. Download This Free Paper 

NuGenesis SDMS: Improving Data Accessibility and Intellectual Property Managment 

Global pharmaceutical company improves the accessibility and intellectual property management
of drug candidate data with Waters® NuGenesis® SDMS software.Download the case study.

To have your white paper featured here, contact Lynn Cloonan for more information.


NEW! Life Science Webcasts from Bio-IT World and Cambridge Healthtech Media Group

Life Science Webcasts

Bio-IT World proudly introduces Life Science Webcasts -- a series of informal conversations with leading researchers and executives in the bio-IT and biopharma arena. This week, Dr. Jerald Schindler (VP, late stage clinical development statistics, Merck) discusses e-clinical research with Bio-IT World's Kevin Davies.

View the Webcast Now

Contact the Editor
We invite your comments and feedback for this edition of Inside IT.

Salvatore Salamone
Senior Contributing Editor

Salvatore Salamone is Bio-IT World's senior contributing editor for information technology. He has over 16 years' experience writing about networking technology and is the author of three books, including The Complete Guide to VPNs (published by InternetWeek, 1999), LAN Times Guide to Managing Remote Connectivity (Osborne McGraw-Hill, 1997), and Reducing the Cost of LAN Ownership (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995, co-written with Greg Gianforte).

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