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SIB - Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

SWISS BIOINFORMATICS

SIB NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2020

IN THIS ISSUE

While many of the world’s activities are at a halt, biomedical research is booming, in an unprecedented joint effort to fight COVID-19. SIB experts have not waited for the pandemic wave to arrive in Switzerland to support the global community in its pursuit, with high-quality data and software. A 360° view of the resources dedicated to the virus and developed by our Groups awaits you in this edition – as well as the very first SIB courses available in streaming, to keep learning new skills while at home.

Also in this issue: a new website for the SPHN initiative, how our ancestors impacted biodiversity, and putting FAIR principles into action.

Stay safe and enjoy the read.

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.

SIB resources supporting SARS-CoV-2 research

From where did the new coronavirus arise, and how did it move to humans? How is it spreading and evolving? How can we develop therapies to treat it? SIB Groups provide a range of tools and resources that can help researchers answer these questions. SIB experts and resources are taking part in the global effort to develop dedicated data services, analysis tools, training offer - and to improve knowledge sharing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access the list of resources and read the story

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Swiss players join European effort to fight COVID-19 and future pandemic

Scientists at SIB and the University of Basel, and Chelonia Applied Sciences (Basel), are part of Exscalate4CoV (E4C), a European effort to find molecules active against COVID-19 - and to accelerate this process in the future. The SIB Resource SWISS-MODEL will be used to generate 3D-models of proteins that have not yet been experimentally elucidated, thereby accelerating virtual screening for potential drugs.

Read the full story
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TAKING THE PULSE OF SIB

Towards a data management toolkit for life scientists

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SIB is one of the 29 research institutes to be part of ELIXIR-CONVERGE, a project funded by the European Commission to help standardize life science data management across Europe to drive good data management, reproducibility and reuse. This will ultimately accelerate knowledge discovery to address societal challenges and drive innovations.

Read more

Respecting and encouraging diversity, equality and inclusion: values we hold dear!

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Both as an employer and as the ambassador of the Swiss bioinformatics community, SIB has a critical role to play in ensuring and fostering diversity and equal opportunities. Discover the impressions from SIB’s Ute Roehrig (Lausanne) and Annika Lisa Gable (University of Zurich) on an all-women speakers’ conference they attended through an SIB Travel Fellowship.

Read the interview

FOCUS ON PERSONALIZED HEALTH

Discover the new SPHN website

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) has launched its new website, which combines, in one place, all information and documents related to the initiative. It highlights in particular the activities of the SIB Personalized Health Informatics Group, which manages the SPHN Data Coordination Center (DCC) and the BioMedIT project, the national IT infrastructure backbone to enable nationwide health-data exchange for research.

Explore the website
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RESEARCH AT SIB

in silico talks series: #9 – the latest in bioinformatics by SIB Scientists

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If you are a life scientist working with multi-omics data - or planning to do so, or a bioinformatician tasked with the data management of multi-omics project: this talk is for you. SIB’s Nastassia Gobet at the University of Lausanne presents the opportunities and challenges of multi-omics data sharing and the strategy adopted to put the FAIR principles in action in the context of a systems genetic research project on sleep regulation.

Read the full story and watch her talk

Detecting the environment-genetics interplay for obesity-related traits

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A new open-source method allows to accurately estimate how much of our genome makes us susceptible to environmental risk factors, which in turn predispose us to certain pathologies. The study describing the method, led by the SIB Group of Zoltán Kutalik at the University of Lausanne, is published in Nature Communications…

Read the full story

Human ancestors impacted biodiversity much earlier than previously thought

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This is what a recent study, co-led by Daniele Silvestro from the SIB Group of Nicolas Salamin, points to. The team used fossil records spanning millions of years, as well as methods and softwares developed at SIB, to disentangle the most plausible causes for the diversity decline observed in large African carnivores. The study, published in Ecology Letters, identified pre-humans as the only plausible among the variables...

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PERFECT YOUR BIOINFORMATICS SKILLS

SIB courses during COVID-19 - available in streaming!

Whether you are based in Switzerland or abroad, why not take this opportunity to learn new skills remotely? Upcoming streamed SIB courses include: a walk-through of SARS-CoV-2 data in ViralZone, gene expression with Bgee, the openBIS data management software, an introduction to glycoinformatics, etc. Subscribe to the mailing list to be notified when registrations for courses open and don’t hesitate to share this information with your colleagues!

Upcoming courses
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PROTEIN SPOTLIGHT

Latest Protein Spotlight: A way in

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As children in Scotland, back home from school and when the weather was dry, we would fling our schoolbags into the hall and grab a few golf clubs, a ball and a tee. There was no need for a change of clothes or shoes, whatever we were wearing was good enough. The course was along the coast on the edge of the North Sea, and the balls we used were found in the dunes where they had been lost by more experienced players…

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