Grid Reviewed for Nature

One particular research area that benefits hugely from easy access to computational resources is the analysis of medical images, like brain scans or x-ray images. In a paper published in this month’s Nature Reviews Neurology various infrastructures on offer to the biomedical community are compared, including EGI’s partner neuGRID.

Research into neurodegenerative diseases uses imaging techniques to help diagnose, and track the progress of, numerous illnesses including Alzheimer’s. Until recently however the image collections used by the researchers have been usually collected locally, and only being 10s or 100s of images. However thanks to a growth in the availability and accessibility of clinical and research imaging data, the area is being transformed.

The teams now working on these illnesses have access to data sets made up of literally hundreds of thousands of individual images. Traditionally only a few laboratories had the expertise and computational resources required to make use of the data. However recent developments in e-Science have changed this and there are many solutions available to the community.

The paper is a review of the three major projects helping overcome the image overload; neuGRID, LONI and CBRAIN. All three use different techniques, technologies and image sets, making them equally useful to different researchers. LONI and CBRAIN focus on using High Performance Computing resources while neuGRID is based on the technology provided by EGI as well as using the computational resources of the infrastructure.

David Manset, from the neuGRID project and Technical Coordinator of its international chapter outGRID, is one of the paper’s authors “Putting this paper together has been a great experience. neuGRID has achieved a lot in the last 3 years and it has been interesting learning about the differences between our approach and the others. I also hope that the paper raises awareness of the tools on offer to the community by the three projects”.

The paper, Virtual imaging laboratories for marker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases, is published in July’s Nature Reviews NeurologyDoi:10.1038/nrneurol.2011.99

 
neuGRID launches its new phase later this month called “neuGRID for you (N4U): expansion of neuGRID services and outreach to new user communities”, led by Giovanni Frisoni, who was also principal investigator of neuGRID, which will aim to expand the services offered by neuGRID to their end users.