2021 has been a year of adaptation and consolidation in response to the many changes brought on us all by the pandemic. Thanks to your continued support, engagement and passion, many projects of international and national importance were completed, new initiatives launched and national infrastructure proposals for the life sciences submitted.

This year we were also delighted to see many of you in person at what was a very successful 15th edition of the [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference, in hybrid mode for the first time and gathering over 370 participants on site.

We are very much looking forward to 2022, which promises to be yet another exciting year for the biological and biomedical data science ecosystem in Switzerland.

We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful snowy holiday season, and a happy New Year.

Talking about snow, did you know some algae actually thrive in it? Discover the unicellular green algae also called ‘snow algae’, which give snow a surprising watermelon tinge… But how?

Answer: the colour is due to a red substance produced in the chloroplast, which protects the algae from the abundance of UV rays in their environment.

Source of the green algae image (Chlamydomonaceae family): SwissBioPics – an open access interactive library of images for the visualization of sub-cellular location data, developed by the Swiss-Prot Group. Its purpose is to enable protein resources users for instance (e.g. UniProt) to visualize where a specific gene product appears in the organism’s cell, using standard identifiers, gene ontologies and subcellular location vocabularies. SwissBioPics is among the SIB Remarkable Outputs announced in 2021: find out more in the SIB Profile (p.32-33)