One of the main challenges facing bioinformatics is to overcome the dispersal and fragmentation of data and of the necessary tools for their analysis. Although there are a few large centres providing data and software repositories, many other important resources are scattered around the globe. The main aim of this work is to use the Grid concepts and methodology to link together resources to facilitate their use for those who are not experts in
information technology. This is particularly important in a country like Italy, which has no large bioinformatics centres.
This paper, presented during the Second European HealthGrid Conference (29-30/01/2004, Clermont-Ferrand), reports about research on Grid Computing in Italy, where, over the last few years, research on Grid Computing has been carried out mainly through pilot studies in the IST field, aimed at building internal grid systems as test-beds for demonstration and optimization purposes. However, a research partnership aimed at supporting Bioinformatics applications has been running for almost two years now in Italy.
This work resulted in the establishment of a working grid system connecting computers and clusters of multiple independent centers, and in the development of Bioinformatics tools designed to work in – and benefit from – a Grid environment.
R. Calogero, M. Canonico, M. Belluardo, G. Franceschinis, C. Anglano, M. Botta, R Boraso, G. Ballocca, A. Rodolico, E. Rossi, A. Emerson and E. Medico
Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, University of Torino Medical School ;Departments of Clinical and Biological Sciences and Informatics, University of Torino; Department of Informatics, University of Piemonte Orientale, Alessandria; CSPInnovazione nelle ICT, Torino; Nice srl.; High Performance Systems, CINECA.