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BioInform s Funding Update: Some Recent NSF Awards in Bioinformatics: Jun 3, 2002

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•ARCiB: Accessible Retired Computers in Biology. Start Date: February 1, 2002. Expires: June 30, 2003. Expected total amount: $94,463. Investigator: Herbert Bernstein. Sponsor: Dowling College.

Supports the Accessible Retired Computers in Biology (ARCiB) project, which will “provide ongoing transitional support for software packages, especially those associated with structural biology, as existing hardware platforms are replaced.” The grantees expect this project to reduce disruption to research and education programs that use these software packages. If packages are open source and their developers would like to transfer all or part of the support, ARCiB will offer an archive location for source and binaries and will also make the packages available.

•A Workshop to Address the Challenges in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Education and Training. Start Date: April 15, 2002. Expires: September 30, 2002. Expected total amount: $33,900. Investigator: John Wooley. Sponsor: University of California, San Diego.

Supports a workshop for scientists with experience in developing curricula in bioinformatics to identify best practices and the challenges that remain with the goal of raising awareness of the importance of education and training in biological informatics. A report of the meeting will be made available on the web.

•OpenGeneX: Expanding the Toolkit of an Open Source Gene Expression Informatics Resource. Start Date: May 1, 2002. Expires: April 30, 2005. Expected total amount: $748,854. Investigator: Jennifer Weller. Sponsor: Virginia Tech.

Supports further development of the OpenGeneX toolkit for gene expression data management, specifically “core capabilities, such as addition of links to the database schema, an object-layer application programming interface, and a data upload tool for automated loading into the database.” Grantees will develop analysis tools, including data preprocessing, normalization, and statistical validation clustering methods, as well as a prototype of peer-to-peer database connectivity.

•Discovering and Using the Knowledge in Biology Text. Start Date: May 1, 2002. Expires: October 31, 2003. Expected total amount: $99,281. Investigator: Robert Futrelle. Sponsor: Northeastern University.

Supports development of a natural language-based system to answer queries based on a 200 million-word body of literature consisting of all the articles from the ASM journals for the last five years. New technologies, especially visualization tools, will be developed in a uniform environment using Java.

•Toward RNA Genomics: A Pilot Study in the Analysis, Design, and Prediction of RNA Structures. Start Date: October 1, 2002. Expires: September 30, 2005. Expected total amount: $795,000. Investigator: Tamar Schlick. Sponsor: New York University.

Supports a pilot study to “analyze, design, and predict RNA structures using a combination of graph theory and computational methods.” The project’s RNA search tools, survey results, and classification methods will be made available to the public through the Nucleic Acid Database.

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