The main objective of the EMBRACE project, as the name suggests, is to embrace the European scientific community. We want to enable biomedical research in the 'omics' era. Even though EMBRACE aims primarily at the local bioinformatician, we are open to the demands from the biomedical research community. After all, what good is enabling, if no able person uses the products? The EMBRACE final goal is to allow biomedical researchersto get answers to their questions using interfaces, graphics, and terminology with which they are familiar. In order to do so, we encourage all biomedical scientists interested in access to data and software (and we think one way or another that includes all of you) to provide feedback.
Currently, biology is facing an invasion from many different directions. Mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists have all realised that their expertise can help solve the daunting task of biology to understand life, the universe, and everything.
Science today depends on connections between hitherto relatively independent subdisciplines. Bioinformatics is a key technology in forming those connections.
To understand biology, one needs to deal with mathematical models that describe processes, databases and algorithms to do something with all the data from genome, transcriptome, and proteome experiments, chemistry and physics to understand why processes happen the way they happen, and pharma and medicine to make man benefit from the gained knowledge in the most direct way.
So much data exists that we can no longer store it all on one computer. The data is scattered all over the (computer) world. Fortunately, you do not need to know where all those data are stored; your computer knows. And if you want to do things with those data for which the software doesn't exist, then you can ask your local or national bioinformatician(s) to use the EMBRACE data access facilities and generate the software you need very quickly. If you have a challenging question, I am sure your local bioinformatician would love to work on it. How come we can be so sure that the software can be developed easily? It is because we now have software to help bioinformaticians design software in a rapidly changing data environment. This software is called Taverna. Informaticians call it a workflow manager, but for us it simply is a tool to design software fast, and to adjust it quickly when the data chages. If you cannot find local support, feel free to contact the EMBRACE person nearest to you, or the people in work-package 4 (e.g. Erik Bongcam-Rudloff ).
EMBRACE will facilitate your work by providing you with easy access to all of the main bioinformatics tools and databases.
EMBRACE wants to give all biomedical scientists in Europe access to data and software. We will primarily do this via the BioSapiens project because BioSapiens combines Europe's brightest bioinformaticians, and bioinformaticians translate between us 'computer-people' and you wet-lab biomedical scientists.
Even though we encourage you to primarily interact with the BioSapiens project, you can follow the progress of this project via the EMBRACE WWW pages, but you can also get closer by joining the workshops,or ask the EMBRACE management for more information.
How to obtain further information
The contact page of the EMBRACE website lists the names of the people whom you can contact for all kinds of information about EMBRACE. You can of course also contact the EMBRACE partner living nearest to you. If you are more interested in bioinformatics itself than in the technology that enables bioinformatics, you might also want to look at the BioSapiens WWW pages.
© Gert Vriend, 2005