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Space Telescopes and Human Genomes: How Researchers Share Petabyte Data Sets

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A view of overlays of archived data on M101, the "Pinwheel Galaxy."

A view of overlays of the archived data for M101, the "Pinwheel Galaxy," in Space Telescope Science Institute's massive MAST archive.

Credit: STSCI

Computational research is evolving as organizations seek to eliminate barriers that prevent collaborative teams from accessing data. Dealing with these new demands is Johns Hopkins University's Space Telescope Science Institute (STSCI), which ran the Hubble Space Telescope and in 2018 will house the James Webb Space Telescope operations. STSCI also stores the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), which is becoming the archive of record for astronomy imagery and data.

Also dealing with big data research quandaries is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Information Technology, which is updating NIH networks and infrastructure to enable researchers to better use high-performance computing resources, huge genome databases, and other data.

STSCI and NIH are both hubs of research collaboration with increasing demands for raw data and ways of making that data more usable. They need to offer computing power on demand to perform large-scale analysis of existing data while also facilitating research by scientists outside the institution. These research networks face challenges from the scale of the data, which at STSCI includes petabytes of space telescope imagery and sensor data and at NIH includes genomic data. STSCI and NIH are working to provide access to high-performance computing resources as well as new collaborative tools to enable joint research.

From Ars Technica
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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