A biomedical informatics researcher who tracks dangerous viruses as they spread around the globe has restructured his innovative tracking software to promote even wider use of the program around the world.
Associate Professor Daniel Janies, Ph.D., an expert in computational genomics at the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University (OSU), is working with software engineers at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) to expand the reach of SUPRAMAP (supramap.org), a web-based application that synthesizes large, diverse datasets so that researchers can better understand the spread of infectious diseases across hosts and geography. By separating SUPRAMAP's client application from the underlying server software, the goal is to reconfigure the server in a way that researchers and public safety officials can develop other front-end applications that draw on the logic and computing resources of SUPRAMAP.
Janies and his colleagues at Ohio State, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and OSC developed SUPRAMAP in 2007 to track the spread and evolution of pandemic (H1N1) and avian influenza (H5N1).
“We now have decoupled the server from the original client to provide a modular web service for POY, (poyws.org) an open-source, freely available phylogenetic analysis program developed at AMNH. The web service can be used by other researchers with new ideas, data, and clients to create novel applications,” said Ward Wheeler, Ph.D., curator-in-charge of scientific computing at AMNH and a coauthor with Janies and others on a recent article about the project in the journal Cladistics.
“To demonstrate the POY web service, we have produced a new client software application, GEOGENES (www.geogenes.org)”, said Wheeler. “Unlike in SUPRAMAP, in which the user is required to create and upload data files, in GEOGENES the user works from a graphical interface to query a curated dataset, thus freeing the user from managing files.”
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