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SIB - Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

SWISS BIOINFORMATICS

SIB NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2019

IN THIS ISSUE

A fresh harvest of updates on bioinformatics developments awaits you in this edition: the excellence of two of our Group Leaders recognized; our latest activity report; software tools and databases developed by SIB Groups at the rescue of life scientists studying model species of bugs, the relationships between organisms and the making of new drugs thanks to computers… and the very last days for you to submit your application to the SIB Bioinformatics Awards, recognizing excellence in the discipline since 2008.
And more...

Enjoy your reading!

TAKING THE PULSE OF SIB

The SIB Profile 2019 is out: bioinformatics projects, scientists and good times!

Our activity report for the past year is hot from the press and has: perspective articles on areas where SIB will be adding value for the years to come, a year of anniversary projects and events; a focus on our activities dedicated to personalized health; key research outcomes and updates from our 70 Groups…

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Last days to apply to the SIB Bioinformatics Awards 2019: don’t miss this chance to give your career a boost

Are you a bioinformatician with a remarkable early career, a graduate student who published an outstanding paper or did you develop a resource with an important impact on the life science community? The SIB Awards will be presented for the 10th time in 2019 at the [BC]2 conference: don’t miss this chance to boost your research profile. If you are wondering whether the award is cut for you, get inspired by reading the interviews with previous laureates…

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Core-IT: bringing together SIB’s expertise in information security, quality assurance and computational infrastructure

A new Internal Group, Core-IT, is now bringing SIB’s existing IT-related expertise under one roof, with a specific focus on data protection, quality assurance and information security. Together with the recognized excellence of Vital-IT in bioinformatics services and research support, SIB is thus expanding its offer to address the complete computational needs of today’s life scientists…

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Christophe Dessimoz is awarded the 2019 ISCB Overton Prize

Each year with the Overton Prize, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) recognizes the outstanding achievements of an early to mid-career scientist who has made a significant contribution to the field of computational biology. The 2019 laureate is Christophe Dessimoz, SIB Group Leader and member of the Board of Directors, SNSF Professor at the University of Lausanne in the field of comparative genomics…

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SIB Group Leader Michel Milinkovitch receives ERC Advanced Grant to study life’s morphological complexity and diversity

A European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant has been awarded to SIB Group Leader Michel Milinkovitch for his research project entitled "Identifying how Evolution exploits physical properties of tissues to generate the complexity and diversity of Life (EVOMORPHYS)”…

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FOCUS ON PERSONALIZED HEALTH

“The network we are building to empower personalized health research will be here to last”

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Personalized healthcare requires a solid foundation; establishing interoperability of biomedical information and building a national infrastructure provides such a basis. It is with this conviction that Katrin Crameri took over the reins of SIB’s Personalized Health Informatics Group in Basel on 1 March from Torsten Schwede, who has been appointed Vice President for Research at the University of Basel. Torsten and Katrin shared their vision…

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A national infrastructure network to enable secure biomedical data processing: the BioMedIT project

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To promote the development of personalized health research, the Swiss Confederation launched in 2017 the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN). In parallel, the BioMedIT project was funded to establish a coordinated network of core facilities at Swiss universities for the secure processing of biomedical data. Here is an overview of the BioMedIT project, coordinated by SIB’s Personalized Health Informatics Group

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Switzerland to contribute to the definition of international genomic data sharing standards

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The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) initiative, in which SIB plays a key role, joins an international group of 22 leading genomic data initiatives working together to enable sharing of genomic and health-related data for research. The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has selected SPHN among its “2019 Driver Projects” that aim to develop and pilot standards for sharing genomic and health-related data

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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.

A major boost for insect biodiversity studies with the sequencing of the milkweed bug genome

How does this insect, which is an important model species, feed on poisonous milkweed seeds and use the acquired toxins for its own protection and bright red warning colouration? To explore these phenomena, an international study including SIB Researchers at the Universities of Lausanne and of Geneva sequenced the milkweed bug genome and carried out extensive comparisons with other insects, using SIB orthology resources

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Software promises to redefine the tree of life as we know it

A new method to analyze genetic data, developed by two SIB Groups, shows that the relationships between living species, from bacteria to plants and animals, are different from previous estimates. Created by the group led by Nicolas Salamin and the Bioinformatics Core Facility at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and SIB, the new software will change what we know about the tree of life. The study is published in the journal PNAS…

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One million jobs on SIB's computer-aided drug design software platform!

Maintained and developed in the Group of Vincent Zoete and Olivier Michielin (University of Lausanne), the SIB Resource SwissDrugDesign is a platform of tools dedicated to computer-aided drug design. On 16 December 2018, the count of total jobs run on the platform passed the symbolic one-million mark, highlighting a remarkable acceleration of usage over the past years. The Group Leaders told us more about the milestone and the tools…

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RESEARCH AT SIB

SIB is part of a European project to improve data sharing and reuse in the life sciences

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SIB is lending its expertise in data management to the FAIRplus project, aiming to increase the discovery, accessibility and reusability of data from selected projects funded by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), as well as internal data from pharmaceutical industry partners…

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A cancer-associated mutation modifies the activity of entire chromatin domains

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A study led by the EPFL team of Elisa Oricchio and the SIB team of Giovanni Ciriello (University of Lausanne) shows how a mutated gene can affect the three-dimensional interactions of genes in the cell, leading to various forms of cancer...

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SIB takes part in a cloud system to facilitate transcontinental human data exchange

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The CINECA project, led by EMBL-EBI, aims to unite more than a million human data sets from across Africa, Canada and Europe. SIB is among the initiative’s 18 partner organizations, with the Group of Patrick Ruch at HES-SO bringing its text mining and automated annotation expertise to help uncover clinically relevant information…

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PERFECT YOUR BIOINFORMATICS SKILLS WITH SIB TRAINING

Upcoming SIB Training courses

The list of courses scheduled for the next 6 months is now available online, covering topics such as: NGS genome variant analysis, NGS quality control, alignment and visualisation, R Shiny, Long-reads sequencing, Data Carpentry, Statistical Modelling, Single-cell RNAseq... 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!

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Applications now open for the second edition of the CAS in Personalized Molecular Oncology

Following the success of the first edition, the University Hospital of Basel is launching the second edition of this one of the kind CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) with SIB and the University Hospital of Lausanne. Coordinated by SIB Clinical Bioinformatics, this training takes place at a key point in time and matches the growing interest for personalized medicine, as exemplified by initiatives such as the Swiss Personalized Health Network…

Apply
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PROTEIN SPOTLIGHT

Latest Protein Spotlight: paths of discomfort

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We are all bound to become prey, predator or competitor one day. Whichever way you look at it. That is why, over time, all living beings have acquired their very own palette of defence mechanisms. Roses grow thorns. Bacteria fire toxins. Panthers run fast, chameleons blend into the environment and humans hurl a few well-chosen words. The whole point of developing such mechanisms is to shun the threat of some sort of insult, or worse: death…

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