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Big Data in Biology: Challenges and Opportunities for Health Care and Research

In this lecture Ewan Birney, Director of EMBL-EBI, discusses the opportunities and challenges of collecting and interpreting big data in molecular biology.
When Nov 14, 2016
from 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Churchill College, Storey's Way, Cambridge
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Ewan Birney is Director of EMBL-EBI with Dr Rolf Apweiler, and runs a small research group. He played a vital role in annotating the genome sequences of human, mouse, chicken and several other organisms; this work has had a profound impact on our understanding of genomic biology. Ewan’s main areas of research include functional genomics, assembly algorithms, statistical methods to analyse genomic information (in particular information associated with individual differences) and compression of sequence information.

Molecular biology is now a leading example of a data intensive science, with both pragmatic and theoretical challenges being raised by data volumes and dimensionality of the data. These changes are present in both “large scale” consortia science and small scale science, and across now a broad range of applications – from human health, through to agriculture and ecosystems.

Drawing on recent experience Ewan will explore both the “blue collar” challenges of data volume and the “white collar” challenges of interpretation. He will end with the serendipitous invention of using DNA for an entirely different reason – as a long-time horizon digital archiving material, and explain how a future culture in 10,000 years time may still be able to read all of Shakespeare’s sonnets – and perhaps much more.

Join Ewan for the next CSAR lecture on Monday 14 November at 7:30pm in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre at Churchill College.

CSAR lectures are open to all. CSAR members are admitted free, you may register for free membership at the lecture reception desk. Non-members are asked to make a nominal contribution of £3.00.

For more information, see the event flyer.

Please note, the lecture will be preceded by a 5 min CSAR AGM.

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