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Veterans will be the ultimate winners in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Energy (DOE) Big Data Science Initiative, a collaborative research effort that casts Argonne National Laboratory in a prominent role. Argonne’s extensive track record of successes with big data and big computers make it the quintessential partner of this multi-faceted research team to improve healthcare for millions of veterans, advance supercomputing and solve some of the nation’s biggest scientific challenges. A team led by the Computation Institute's Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for Computing, Environment and Life Sciences at Argonne, was instrumental in moving the effort from concept to reality.

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The University of Chicago Innovation Fund has been kind to the Computation Institute. One year ago, Parallel.works, led by CI Senior Fellow Mike Wilde, received funding from the UChicago-backed initiative to support entrepreneurship on campus. Last summer, the Array of Things project kept the streak alive, receiving $150,000 to begin manufacturing its sensor nodes. But for the fall round of the Innovation Fund, we doubled down with two winning startups from CI researchers: Navipoint Genomics and Praedictus Climate Solutions.

The CI’s 2014-15 Inside the Discovery Cloud speaker series focused on collaboration, presenting pairs of speakers who are working together to unlock new knowledge through computation. Attendees heard about how new computational approaches are changing medicine, biology, social science, public policy, and more, and discover opportunities for new collaborations and student research projects. View the videos of these stimulating talks.

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The theme for the 2014-15 Computation Institute Inside the Discovery Cloud Speaker Series is "Catalyzing Collaboration," placing the spotlight on the unique, multidisciplinary research partnerships

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Recently, genomics has become of the major fronts in the "War on Cancer," with researchers around the world collecting increasingly sophisticated and detailed genetic data for different subtypes of the disease. But as genetic sequencing grows cheaper and more common, scientists are faced with new logistical problems of how to store, share, and access this data across institutions to answer scientific questions and get closer to new understanding and treatments for the disease. A new project funded by the National Cancer Institute and led by CI senior fellow and faculty Robert Grossman will gather these disparate resources into a Genomic Data Commons (GDC), storing and "harmonizing" cancer data and facilitating new discoveries.

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While genomic sequencing gets cheaper, more extensive, and more routine, the analysis of those sequences remains a difficult challenge.

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The hot buzzword in the tech world right now is “disruption,” the concept that one clever idea can completely shake up a stale industry, leading to new practices and big profits. Companies such as Amazon, Skype, and iTunes have dramatically changed how book stores, phone companies, and music sales work, with sometimes controversial results. But for many reasons, health care has largely resisted major tech-driven revolutions so far, its massive bulk and entrenched interests providing disruption-proof armor few other industries can boast. But at the Big Data & Health conference, co-organized by the Computation Institute and the UChicago Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), many speakers signaled that data-based change was on the way for health care and research.

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The interaction between proteins and small molecule ligands is often described as akin to a lock and key.

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Many biologists now find themselves getting deeper into computational methods as cheaper and easier genetic sequencing creates larger data challenges. But if a biologist gets too caught up in managing their new IT demands, it can be a time sink and a distraction from their original scientific goals. With the launch last year of Globus Genomics, CI researchers created a platform to move many of those analysis and data management tasks to the cloud, simplifying procedures and helping researchers save time and money.

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After a successful first run last fall, the Computation Institute hosted a second round of lightning talks -- short talks about CI researc