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SIB - Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

SWISS BIOINFORMATICS

SIB NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2018

IN THIS ISSUE

…twenty years of SIB and of Swiss bioinformatics! Discover the original projects to be launched throughout the year to celebrate SIB’s birthday and promote bioinformatics, starting with a film.
Also in this first edition of the year: interviews on the role of bioinformatics for personalized health, highlights on STRING-db and other essential tools and databases for life scientists, research on cell communication, the genetics of pioneers and pneumonia. On the training front, do not miss the registration deadline for the first CAS in Personalized Molecular Oncology.

TAKING THE PULSE OF SIB

Visit our interactive webpage dedicated to SIB 20 years

A condensed timeline of Swiss bioinformatics, videos, interviews, key figures, testimonials, sponsors... Created to highlight our news and actions at the occasion of SIB’s 20th birthday, the page will be updated throughout the year with the release of each original project (a webseries, a mobile game, etc). Starting with a 2 min film to present bioinformatics and the Institute: “SIB, the movie – Swiss bioinformatics in action”…

Visit the page
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The SIB Profile 2018 is out! A tribute to 20 years of Swiss bioinformatics

Explore the SIB Profile 2018, our activity report for the past year. Enjoy the revisited design and content of this special SIB 20 years edition, stories on what bioinformatics made possible in the last two decades; several interviews (with the SERI, on open data, as well as on the added-value of bioinformatics competence centres for life scientists); testimonials; collaborations; highlights from our 67 Groups…

Read the SIB Profile
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SIB 20 years on the cover of SERI NEWS

The cover of the SERI News' March issue (the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation's magazine) is dedicated to SIB, “a research infrastructure of national importance”, at the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Read the interview with SIB Executive Director Ron Appel on the evolution of Swiss bioinformatics and some of the key issues ahead, such as the…

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FOCUS ON THE SWISS PERSONALIZED HEALTH NETWORK (SPHN)

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Designed to promote the development of personalized health in Switzerland, the SPHN initiative will lay the foundations to foster research projects in this area, including mechanisms facilitating the nationwide exchange of health-related data. In this context, SIB has been mandated to run SPHN’s Data Coordination Centre (DCC) and is managing the BioMedIT project.

Spotlight on the crucial role of bioinformatics in personalized health with two interviews

At the occasion of SIB’s 20th anniversary and of the recent launch of the SantéPerso initiative and platform, the role of bioinformatics in the personalized health context is in the spotlight, with two interviews (in French) of SIB Executive Director Ron Appel and SIB Clinical Bioinformatics Project Manager Aitana Lebrand…

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The SDSC and SIB join forces to build a secure data processing environment for personalized health research in Switzerland

The Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC) and SIB are teaming up on developing software platforms, services and best practices for privacy-conscious data-driven science in the context of SPHN. Through this collaboration, the joint team will assess the domain specific requirements for personalized health research in Switzerland…

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ESSENTIAL RESOURCES FOR THE LIFE SCIENCES

Part of SIB’s mission is to provide and maintain databases and software tools,
which are of fundamental importance to the wider life-science community.

STRING-database overall best-performing network resource according to a Californian study

With over 20,000 protein-coding genes in humans, discovering those that are linked to a given disease amounts to finding a molecular needle in a haystack. Gene networks serve as useful shortcuts for this purpose, as they document the possible topologies of association between genes. According to a recent study, the SIB and ELIXIR Core Resource STRING, developed and maintained by the SIB Group of Christian von Mering…

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A toolbox to improve genome annotation

With thousands of prokaryotic genomes newly sequenced each year, solutions for accurately annotating these genomes and thereby providing the basis to uncover the function(s) of genes and their encoded proteins are urgently needed. Scientists from SIB have developed an open proteogenomics toolbox to…

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Gauging the completeness of genomics data with BUSCO

With ever-lowering sequencing costs, genomic projects have been initiated for a wide range of organisms. Considering that an important driving force behind sequencing projects is the acquisition of a complete catalogue of genes, an important task lies in assessing the integrity and completeness of the assembled genome or transcriptome. SIB researchers have developed an assessment tool that…

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RESEARCH AT SIB

Cells are able to detect more shades of information than previously thought

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Hacking a cell’s communication system is a common feat of information diseases, such as cancer. Understanding how information is conveyed at the molecular level is therefore crucial. So far, one of the most common cell receptors was thought to function only as on/off switches. Researchers from Sven Bergmann’s SIB Group and the University of Lausanne have provided the first direct experimental evidence that…

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The genetic burden of pioneers

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Having a pioneer ancestor could explain the excess of harmful mutations observed in recently colonized areas of Quebec, a recent study shows. Using a unique combination of genomic and historical data, researchers from Laurent Excoffier’s SIB Group at the University of Bern, in collaboration with the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC), the University of Montreal and the University of Toronto, have shown…

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The quick-change artist strategy of a fungus that causes pneumonia

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A study led by a team of researchers from the Institute of Microbiology of CHUV-UNIL and SIB reveals the mechanisms of antigenic variation used by the pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii to escape the human immune system. Published in mBio, the paper was featured in a recent podcast by ‘This week in microbiology’ and includes a profile of first author SIB’s Emanuel Schmid-Siegert…

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PERFECT YOUR BIOINFORMATICS SKILLS WITH SIB TRAINING

Upcoming SIB Training courses

Many interesting courses are coming up, in topics including: RNA-seq from quality control to pathway analysis, inferring gene regulatory networks with ISMARA, Python, HPC, statistics for big data in life and health sciences with R. Save the dates in your calendar, subscribe to the courses' mailing-list to be informed when registrations open and share this information with your colleagues!

More info
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Register now to the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Personalized Molecular Oncology

Registrations are opened until 17 June to the CAS organized by the University Hospital with SIB and the University Hospital of Lausanne. This course aims at providing a comprehensive and integrative view of the field, by covering all the aspects involved along the pipeline: (i) tumor biology and genetics, (ii) molecular pathology, (iii) clinical bioinformatics…

More info and registration
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February Virtual Seminar by Jérôme Goudet: an interview

Is it possible to infer the ancestral demography of a species from genetic data, based on its current genetic composition? "Yes," answers Jérôme Goudet, SIB Group Leader and Associate Professor in Population Genetics at the Department of Ecology and Evolution of the University of Lausanne. Jérôme gave a virtual seminar in February on…

 
Read the interview & watch the seminar
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LATEST PROTEIN SPOTLIGHT: IT'S A THIN LINE

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One cell. One organism. One fate: male, or female. The way Nature designs things, you would expect traits as fundamental as those that make a boy a boy or a girl a girl, for instance, to be inscribed in their respective DNA from the very start. In a way they are, of course, but there is a subtlety: if what defines gender is for some reason missing, then…

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