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SIB - Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

SWISS BIOINFORMATICS

SIB NEWSLETTER - JUNE 2019

IN THIS ISSUE

As the preparations for the [BC]2 conference are in full swing, join us in Basel in September to discuss the latest developments of molecular medicine and register to the tutorials and workshops while there are still some seats left! Talking about molecular medicine, which goes hand in hand with data protection and security: SIB is now equipped with a multidisciplinary Board dedicated to these topics. On the same topic, if you are a researcher wondering how you will get to access health-related data once the Swiss Personalized Health Network is in place, get a more concrete idea with the ‘new path to nationwide clinical data’ infographics – and the role of the SIB-managed BioMedIT secure infrastructure in this context.

Also in this issue: unlocking the origin of beetle diversity using SIB resources; a new concept of online talks by SIB Scientists; pomegranates, ancient teeth and the true meaning of phylogenetic trees; and upcoming courses.

Enjoy your reading!

TAKING THE PULSE OF SIB

Join the [BC]2 Conference at Basel Life – A 360° view on the Advances in Molecular Medicine, 9-12 September, Basel

[BC]2 is one of Europe’s major bioinformatics and computational biology events, and SIB’s annual scientific meeting. Discover the programme and speakers – including Susan Holmes (Stanford School of Medicine, USA), Roy Kishony (Israel Institute of Technology, ISR), and Danielle Posthuma (Vrije Universiteit, NLD) – and grasp the last seats at the tutorials and workshops on machine learning, single-cell, deep learning and many more topics.

More information & registration
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A new SIB Data Protection and Security Board

In view of the complexity and diversity of the projects led by SIB and the expansion of its activities involving sensitive data (BioMedIT, SPHN projects, collaborations with hospitals), it has created a Data Protection and Security Board to ensure a global vision with multidisciplinary skills. The Board is composed of experts in the legal, data protection, cybersecurity, information technology, clinical- and broad bioinformatics domains. Its mission is to devise a strategy, policies and regulations pertaining to personal sensitive data and information security at SIB and to supervise their enforcement.

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FOCUS ON PERSONALIZED HEALTH

How will Swiss researchers retrieve nationwide clinical data in the near future?

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Thanks to the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) initiative, Switzerland is currently shifting from a fragmented health data landscape to a coordinated infrastructure enabling personalized health research. But how does this translate for the scientists themselves? Follow the steps of a researcher aiming to identify new biomarkers of lung cancer and discover in this context the concrete role of SIB’s BioMedIT secure infrastructure...

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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.

Discover the new in silico talks series: #1 Mining viral genomes to improve clinical diagnostics

In this first talk of the series, SIB Group Leader Niko Beerenwinkel (ETH Zurich) tells you how to mine viral genomes to improve clinical diagnostics using V-pipe, a new SIB resource to analyze viral sequencing data. Who is it for? Scientists who analyze virus sequencing data in basic research or clinical settings, bioinformaticians embedded in clinical research groups, staff of bioinformatics core units… 

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Evolutionary genomics supports plant-feeding as a key driver of beetle diversity

Just a few days after the IPBES’ global biodiversity assessment was presented in Paris, SIB Scientists at the University of Lausanne published a paper explaining the origin of the biodiversity observed among beetles, arguably the largest species richness in the animal kingdom. The international study, published in Genome Biology, employed SIB bioinformatics resources BUSCOs and OrthoDB

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RESEARCH AT SIB

Compound with anti-aging effects passes human trial

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A dietary supplementation with Urolithin A, a pomegranate metabolite, could help slow down certain aging processes by improving mitochondrial and cellular health in humans: this is the finding of a clinical trial published in the journal Nature Metabolism by EPFL spin-off Amazentis, in conjunction with EPFL and SIB Scientists in the Vital-IT Group who helped analyze the data…

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Ancient teeth lead to the discovery of a population group

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Two 31,000-year-old milk teeth from an excavation site in northeastern Siberia have led to the discovery of a previously unknown population that lived in the area during the last ice age. SIB Group Leader Laurent Excoffier from the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Bern was involved in the discovery of these "Ancient North Siberians"…

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Phylogenetic trees: what do they really mean?

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Phylogenetic trees built from the genomes of strains of a bacterial species do not mean what most people think they do. This is what Erik van Nimwegen, SIB Group Leader and Associate Professor in Computational Systems Biology at the Biozentrum (University of Basel), sets out to demonstrate in his intriguing and thought-provoking talk…

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PERFECT YOUR BIOINFORMATICS SKILLS WITH SIB TRAINING

Upcoming SIB Training courses

Save the date for your favorite courses among the following topics: NGS technologies (Introduction to RNA-seq, Single-cell RNA-seq, Long read sequencing), drug design, Data Carpentry, statistics (Basic statistics, Statistical modelling), languages (R, UNIX, Python, Git for reproducible research, Best practices)… Subscribe to the courses' mailing-list to be notified when registrations open and share this information with your colleagues!

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Register to 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…

More information & registration
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PROTEIN SPOTLIGHT

Latest Protein Spotlight: On versatility

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Diversity is one of Nature's fortes. See how she has spread life and let it flow into Earth's every nook and cranny: oceans and seas, rivers and lakes, woodland, forests and jungles, mountains, valleys, deserts, marshland and glaciers, and even stifled cities where weeds push their way through bricks - and flies, rats and pigeons feed on our waste. Though humans seem set on diminishing diversity, there is still a…

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