The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has invested £7.5M in new infrastructure to tackle bioscience big data challenges. The new funding will improve the storage and curation of enormous datasets that will unlock untold discoveries in important areas like health, agriculture and sustainable fuels.
Biological discovery is increasingly being driven by ground-breaking technologies, such as high-throughput genomic analysis and next generation biological imaging, which generate massive and complex datasets. In order to investigate complex biological phenomena, researchers need access to comprehensive, integrated data resources that are accessible for the whole community.
Access to primary research data is vital for the advancement of science; to validate existing observations and provides the raw materials for new discoveries. Sharing data in a standardised way can enable exciting breakthroughs as researchers interrogate big data sets to spot undiscovered patterns of biological importance.
However, many biologists, and in some areas the community as a whole, struggle to take full advantage of the data generated because of a lack of computing resource, appropriate support and technical skill.
To meet these challenges, BBSRC is strengthening investment in bioinformatics and biological resources, focusing on the needs of the research community, and facilitating the development of sustainable models of operation.