• May 2011
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Forecast for Processing and Storing Ever-Expanding Science Data: Cloudy.

Scientific American (05/04/11) Larry Greenemeier

Scientists that previously relied on time-shared access to high-performance computers to analyze large datasets are now turning to cloud-based services. The U.S. National Science Foundation and Microsoft recently awarded about $4.5 million in funding to 13 research projects dedicated to studying cloud services for scientific uses. The projects include the J. Craig Venter Institute’s effort to computationally model protein-to-protein interactions, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s research on gene regulatory systems in single-celled organisms, and a project co-led by researchers at the universities of South Carolina and Virginia to study the management of large watershed systems. Likewise, the European Space Agency (ESA) uses Amazon Web Services to provide Earth-related data to scientists, governmental agencies, and other organizations. Amazon says that during peak usage times, the service enables ESA to simultaneously provide 30 terabytes of images and data to more than 50,000 users worldwide. “The perfect scenario for using the cloud in biotech is to outsource small amounts of data into the cloud that require a massively parallel computing system for processing and then have the results of that processing returned to you,” says Distributed Bio’s Giles Day.


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