Between biology and information technology
The quantity of biological research data to be analyzed and stored is increasing exponentially. Together with the scientists, we look for suitable IT solutions for their research. In addition, we support the members of the Biozentrum in undertaking large-scale IT projects.
Research IT offers research groups and the other technology platforms technical support with projects that have high data management and computing capacity requirements. In doing so, we focus on three aspects: selection or development of suitable software; strategic advice on data management and high-performance computing for Life Sciences; and coordination with internal and external partners from the planning stage to the implementation of the project. Furthermore, we work on IT projects for the whole institute. This includes among others the conception and development of the Biozentrum Internet and Intranet platforms.
Data management is essential
There are three main reasons why biological research is becoming increasingly data-driven and more computationally intensive:
- The development of new methods produces an ever greater quantity of ever more detailed data. Methods include high resolution microscopy, protein mass spectrometry, and new techniques in DNA sequencing.
- The progressive automation of equipment allows much larger experimental designs. For example, one can switch off individual genes in a targeted manner and observe how visually observable traits of the cell are affected. Such investigations are only possible thanks to automated microscopy and computerized image analysis
- Biology is increasingly using quantitative approaches and mathematical modeling of systems. These approaches require not only a broader and more precise collection of experimental raw data, but also appropriate IT infrastructure for calculations and simulations.
The technical and conceptual requirements for optimally storing and evaluating the data collected often exceed the capacity of the individual research group. This is where our expertise comes into play. Together with the scientists, we develop the right IT solution for their endeavours.