Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Google for Brain Imaging

The turn is up for biomedicine in the data tide that invades science. The Editorial of the February  2011 Nature Medicine Journal refers to the joint statement of 17 funding agencies calling for biomedical researchers to openly share data. This means more collaboration, but also new technologies that should help with this idea.

Alberto Redolfi, keynote speaker at the GISELA-CHAIN Conference, is enthusiastic about the possibilities that this approach may provide to physicians in terms of  innovative mechanisms for the diagnosis of diseases, benefiting clinical decision making.

Around what Redolfi called the google for medical imaging of the brain, handled by sophisticated and demanding computational algorithms, various initiatives have started in Europe with research communities and different technological platforms to manage distributed resources. Apparently, this is a gold mine, if a single virtual laboratory can be integrated with large medical image data of great interest to neuroscience, in which researchers could access, through a common web, images, clinical variables and statistical tools. This trend could precipitate collaborative solutions with major social impact, such as the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. And behind all this, the Grid infrastructure to manage distributed resources gets the glory. Redolfi does not reject the idea of replicating this option in Latin America.

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