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GTA4: Enabler of Life Sciences Research?

AI Improves Automated High-Throughput Screening

Other Bio-IT Stories of Interest 
Commentary: Windows Vista Talk Triggers Strong Response

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GTA4: Enabler of Life Sciences Research?
By Salvatore Salamone

Life sciences researchers should be thrilled. Earlier this month, the highly anticipated video game "Grand Theft Auto IV" (GTA4) was released and brought in more than $500 million in global sales in its first week. That's about $200 million more than the blockbuster "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" made internationally in its first week out.

So what does a new video game's popularity have to do with helping life scientists?

The success of a game like GTA4 will simply spur on the chip manufacturers and systems vendors to push the envelope to deliver better graphics and faster and smoother animation in the future. And while this processing power is being used by video games to deliver cool animation and graphics, it also is increasingly being tapped to conduct life sciences R&D. Read more.

AI Improves Automated High-Throughput Screening
By Salvatore Salamone

In high-throughput screening processes used for drug discovery, tens of thousands of wells each containing tens or hundreds of cells, need to be analyzed each day. Automated analysis of the cellular relationships within so many wells is usually limited by a number of factors.

"Current automated screening systems for examining cell cultures look at individual cells and do not fully consider the relationships between neighboring cells," said Geoffrey Gordon, associate research professor in the Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science's Machine Learning Department. "This is in large part because simultaneously examining many cells with existing methods requires impractical amounts of computational time."

To address this issue, Gordon, biomedical engineering student Shann-Ching Chen and computational biologist Robert F. Murphy (of the university's Lane Center for Computational Biology) have applied an artificial intelligence (AI) technique to cellular image analysis that has the potential to significantly speed up critical steps in an automated method for analyzing cell cultures and other biological specimens. Read more.


Other Bio-IT Stories of Interest

Merck's Informatics Mission

Mapping Points of Contact

2008 Best Practices Winners


Windows Vista Talk Triggers Strong Response
By Salvatore Salamone

Last month's Inside IT article Windows Vista: Can You Skip It? drew a large reader response.

The majority of people who dropped me a note said they are using Windows Vista on their home computers and really do like it. Some are gradually phasing in Vista at work, while others are pushing off the decision to migrate.

Several readers said they were evaluating alternatives, including Linux and the Mac OS X. But most of these people were considering these choices for their home computers and not the corporate desktops they manage.

So where does that leave us? It seems the majority plan to switch to Vista at work and not seek alternatives or wait for the next version of Windows. As one reader put it "my big concern was driver support [in Vista], but that is quickly changing." He noted that a recent move to a new Windows XP desktop yielded some device driver problems. So he realized he'd probably have the same problem whether he grabbed up the last of the systems that will bundle XP or new ones that run Vista.

The real deadline for many will be June 30, which is the day Microsoft will no longer provide retailers and computer manufacturers with Windows XP. Certainly, there will be XP-based systems on sale after that date, but as soon as those machines sell out, there will be no choice. Companies will need to begin a migration to Windows Vista. Given that this is often a long process, it makes sense to get started as soon as possible.

And yet, even with this looming deadline, there was a sprinkle of hope for the truly die-hard XP fan. This month, Microsoft announced it would help make Windows XP available on the One Laptop Per Child project's laptops.



Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Application Analyst
MSKCC Genomics Core seeks an Application Analyst to configure UNIX and Windows systems, maintain LIMS server and install analysis software. Requires a Master’s degree, UNIX experience, and knowledge of a language besides PERL beyond the beginning level. Email or #015563. EOE/AA

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Bioinformatics Engineer MSKCC Bioinformatics Core in Manhattan seeks Bioinformatics Engineer. Design and develop bioinformatics
processing and analysis pipelines for traditional and next-gen sequence data. Consult with, train, and analyze data for researchers. Master's degree and 5 years experience in Bioinformatics software development, sequence assembly, SQL, Perl, Python. Email or #015415. EOE/AA

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Linux Systems Administrator -
MSKCC Bioinformatics Core in Manhattan seeks Linux Systems Administrator. Install, configure and update OS, databases, software. Monitor and troubleshoot HPC cluster, email and web servers. Master's degree and 5 years experience with HPC, network security, Postfix, Apache, Tomcat, Grid Engine. Email or #015429. EOE/AA

Paradigm-Sales/Business Development – IT Solutions and Services
Paradigm ( is a global IT services and solutions provider. Paradigm has over 1000 employees and is the recipient INC. 500 and D&T Fast 50 consistently.  Paradigm is looking for SALES / BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PEOPLE.  Experience: 2-3 years Direct sales experience in Software Solutions or Services including Application development or support and preferably selling to Pharmaceutical, CROs or Health care industries. Location:Columbia, MD,Contact:  Erin Lowman,, 410-872-1008 x 100

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:

More Life Science Jobs ~ Add a Job Listing



MIT PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE - 2008 Short Courses - Cambridge,MA 

BIO International Convention - June 17 – 20, 2008, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

5th Annual Meeting on the NCI’s cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid—CaBIG—initiative (Annual Meeting)S -June 23-25, 2008, Washington,DC

2nd Label-Free Protein Array- Latest Advances in Analysis of Macromolecular Interactions,July 3-4th 2008 -Paris- France

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

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Automate Method SOPs for Greater Efficiency and Fewer Errors with Waters® NuGenesis® Intelligent Procedure Manager
The Waters® NuGenesis® SDMS Intelligent Procedure Manager is a workflow software package designed to guide the laboratory analyst through a routine, comprehensive method standard operating procedure (SOP) and integrate results with a chromatography data system. The Intelligent Procedure Manager addresses the predominately manual activities required to perform an analytical method or test, reducing cycle times up to 50-75% as compared to a traditional paper trail with fewer opportunities for human error.  From late-stage development to final product quality control and lot release, Intelligent Procedure Manager can be applied to any lab environment where rigorous adherence to approved test methods and SOPs must be followed, including compliance requirements for cGMP operations.Download Now 

This Bio•IT World Briefing On “Next-Generation Sequencing,”underwritten by GenomeQuest, Inc.,
presents a selection of feature stories, interviews,commentaries, conference reports, and editorials on the emergence, opportunities, and challenges posed by high-throughput sequencing. Covered in this collection: the launch of new platforms from Applied Biosystems and Helicos; new applications of nextgen sequencing; the rise of personal genomics; and informatics solutions to vexing problem of managing the vast volumes of next-gen data. Download now 

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

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. Samuel Levy, (senior scientist, Human Genomic Medicine, J. Craig Venter Institute) discusses 'Sequencing of the first diploid human genome-that of Craig Venter' 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).

Cambridge                                Healthtech InstitutePublished by Cambridge Healthtech Media Group, division of CHI, Copyright © 2008; All rights reserved.  Inside IT may not be reproduced, electronically or in print, by any means, mechanical or electronic, in whole or in part, without written permission of Cambridge Healthtech Media Group, 250 First Ave., Suite 300, Needham, MA, 02494. 
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