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Big Bang in the protein universe

Almost 100 years ago Edwin Hubble observed that distant galaxies are moving away from Earth faster than those that are closer. This relationship between distance and velocity is widely cited as evidence of the origin of the Universe from a Big Bang. Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation copied his approach to investigate the divergence between protein sequences.

20 may 2010

Biological data, from Babel to BIANA

A new platform integrates various scattered databases

The chaos of biological data, hitherto scattered in various databases, comes to an end. A new program of free access, BIANA has been made available to scientists and has been put together to facilitate their research. With this new tool, with a Catalan stamp, scientists have at their disposal a wealth of information, they will be able to find new relationships between different biological elements, make predictions and identify new therapeutic targets.

Patricia Morén | 22 February 2010

The heart of a scientist

From all of Paula Villar’s (a 31 year old physicist researcher) university partners, only one is still doing research. However, this young scientist is optimistic about the women’s future in science. “20 years ago only few women assisted university classes whilst now each time there are more”, she comments.

Michele Catanzaro | 30 September 2009

An artificial brain for the next decade?

In 1997, the IBM ‘Deep Blue’ computer defeated the world champion chess player Garry Kasparov. It was a good day for the neuroscientist Henry Markram from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL). If in a battle ‘man against machine’ the artificial brain had won, he thought that maybe supercomputing could in a future help to simulate brain function. The future has arrived, and Markram intends to design a complete brain model within 10 years time. The project is called the ‘Blue Brain Project’.

CRISTINA JIMENEZ | 21 September 2009

Mapping gene expression with Gene Expression Atlas

Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute, which is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI) have launched a new database, the Gene Expression Atlas, which allows scientists to search and compare gene expression data with unprecedented detail and scope.

A.R. | 15 june 2009

Virtual pandemics

In 2005 an epidemic exploded on the Internet game 'World of Warcraft'. In a few weeks, four million avatars that lived in the virtual kingdom died due to a mysterious illness named 'corrupt blood'. Immediately several groups of epidemiologists studied the phenomenon: the game provided an unexpected surrounding to study, at experimental level, the development of a macroscopic infection.

Michele Catanzaro | 4 june 2009

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