As it becomes increasingly sophisticated, the field of medicine is grappling with unprecedented data demands. EGEE, providers of the world's largest multi-disciplinary computing grid, help scientists from all fields manage their work quickly and efficiently, with medical researchers and doctors increasingly joining their ranks.
Grid computing can connect doctors and researchers to both computing power and remote databases of medical information. It has the added benefit of an inbuilt secured system preventing unauthorised access to any sensitive patient information.
The HeMoLab project is interested in the heart as well as the system that it is connected to. They are working on developing models, techniques and tools for simulating the entire cardiovascular system. The first accurate description of how the heart pumps blood around the body was published by Arabic physician Ibn al-Nafis in 1242. Since then our knowledge of the way our heart works has expanded to fill volumes. The main motivation for this project is the deeper understanding about the complex physiological interactions in the human body and their role in the onset and progress of several cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, with this study it is also possible to provide relevant information so as to use it as complementary data for medical training, diagnosis and eventually surgical planning.
The simulation of a single heart beat can take up to 20 days in a single computer depending on the degree of approximation considered for problem. Using the grid computing infrastructure offered by the EELA-2 project it is now possible to perform the execution of multiple simulations at the same time. Paulo Ziemer from the HeMoLab team worked on getting the application up and running on the grid. “Porting the application was a great experience, that certainly helped us a lot to understand how grid computing could help the simulation of models that demand high computing power. Further tests need to be made yet, but I think the first step was accomplished successfully.”
In Europe cancer is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths and is the single greatest killer of people aged 45-64. Again early diagnosis is the best way of helping people with the disease. However doctors frequently face problems in accessing the abundance of data that is constantly generated by labs, hospitals, doctors and health authorities.
Another project, Sentinel, centred in France, brings together many areas of cancer research: screening structures, medical laboratories and both regional and national public health authorities. It aims to enable secured medical data exchanges between cancer screening organisations and cancer analysis laboratories. Grid technology – which easily connects data sources and provides a secure framework – is particularly well suited for this situation, where patient data must only be available to authenticated and authorised users.
Starting in 2009, Sentinel’s first objective was to offer access to electronic pathology reports for cancer screening. Since then, Sentinel has been expanded to allow the French national health organisation access to the medical data in order to produce statistics on cancer within the Auvergne region. Recently the team has added a module to allow health professionals to use their smartcards to gain access to the data and are hoping to expand the system nationwide.
Improving the speed of diagnosis and finding areas to focus on in order to treat an illness is essential in tackling cancer and heart disease. All of these projects demonstrate where medical research is going in their use of computers. EGEE has worked for the last 6 years to provide the tools to create a platform for the medical profession and Sentinel, HeMoLab and Gwendia have proven not only its usefulness but also its flexibility.
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21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
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20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine