In the news / Big Data

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UArizona will lead a new National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, called the Center for Quantum Networks, with core partners Harvard, MIT, and Yale. Electrical & Computer Engineering professor and BIO5 member Dr. Bane Vasic, will be a part of the senior leadership team for the center, which looks to lay the foundation to revolutionize how humans compute.
 
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Indiana University announced this week the receipt of a $10M grant from the National Science Foundation to deploy Jetstream 2, a distributed cloud computing system to support on-demand research in a range of fields. Nirav Merchant, co-principal investigator of CyVerse, Director of the UArizona Data Science Institute, and BIO5 member, believes that this award presents exciting opportunities for CyVerse, as Jetstream 2 provides new options for cloud-based data science training, support for machine learning workflows, and opportunities to enhance security for research data sets.
 
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Dr. Paloma Beamer, a UArizona associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and BIO5 member, discusses the risks of contracting COVID-19 through air travel and the precautions and steps you can take to prevent contracting the virus. Dr. Beamer believes it is important to assess the necessity of the trip before deciding to fly and recommends rescheduling if possible. Dr. Beamer also gives tips for safety and cleanliness for those that cannot avoid air-travel.
 
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The BIO5 Institute solicited COVID-19 research proposals for seed grants supplied by the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF).

 
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As of April 28, more than 6,500 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state of Arizona.

 
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To address the critical need of local COVID-19 data, a collaboration of researchers from UArizona Health Sciences & The Data Science Institute including BIO5’s Drs. Nirav Merchant and Sriram Iyengar, launched a 2-way texting system to gather valuable info to track the virus in Arizona. The application will assist with identifying areas where resources are needed.
 
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We all do better when we work together. Using cutting edge technology and big data analysis, the newly formed Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union (ACGU) will track the virus’ evolution and transmission. Co-founded by UArizona Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology head and BIO5 associate director Dr. Michael Worobey, the cross-university collaboration between NAU, TGen and UArizona is another example of how our combined strength will provide solutions to better Arizona.
 
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A collaborative study led by researchers are the University of Arizona and Henan Normal University in China, traces acoustic communication across the tree of life of land-living vertebrates. Result of the study revealed that the ability to vocalize goes back hundreds of millions of years, associated with a nocturnal lifestyle and has remained stable. Surprisingly, acoustic communication does not seem to drive the formation of new species across vertebrates.
 
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A UArizona research team, including BIO5 members Drs. Kobus Barnard and Mihai Surdeanu, have been awarded $7.5 million to create an artificial intelligence agent that can understand social cues and human interactions, and use that information to help teams achieve their goals. The grant comes from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and is part of DARPA's Artificial Social Intelligence for Successful Teams program.
 
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A group of UArizona researchers, including computational biologist and BIO5 faculty member, Dr. Eric Lyons, discuss their methods and best advice for working with large and complicated data sets. Among the many tips, Dr. Lyons examines how video-capture tools can be used to record data analysis commands and keep track of different variables and inputs.
 
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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is a booming industry. Providers claim that their tests can reveal critical information about your health and ancestry. But how reliable are those claims? In this public presentation, Dr. Ryan Gutenkunst discusses the science behind the hype. He addresses what these companies are actually measuring when you send in a sample and how they use those measurements to learn about your past ancestors and your future health. Dr. Gutenkunst shows us how the complexities of human biology and human history limit what can be learned from genomic tests.
 
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Directed by Dr. Hsinchun Chen, a UArizona cybersecurity program aims to train the next generation of cyberspace defenders. Thanks to a $3.6 million grant renewal from the NSF, the two-year program, the AZSecure Cybersecurity Fellowship, will continue to cover tuition and fees for graduate students and provides a stipend of $34,000 per academic year. About 30 students have already taken advantage of the program since 2013, and the renewal funding will allow the program to roughly 20 more students over the next five to seven years.
 
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Many researchers with domain-specific expertise aren't aware of the predictive analytics, classification and visualization tools available, or they aren't fluent enough in the data science language to use them. A group of data-fluent UA researchers that includes BIO5 faculty Drs. Eric Lyons, Vignesh Subbian, and Nirav Merchant, is looking to change this by leading a grassroots effort to provide skills training designed to increase data literacy among researchers.
 
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The use of new technologies and automation raises questions about the impact on the job market and their respective hacking vulnerabilities. Dr. Larry Head, BIO5 faculty member and professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering at UA, discusses the importance of consumers doing research about the safety of autonomous vehicles before using them. 
 
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Science has the power to improve health, strengthen economies and shed light on the unknown throughout the universe, but a small and growing number of research papers are being retracted by journals for a myriad of reasons, including falsified evidence, conflicts of interest and plagiarism, speciali
 
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Thrombocytopenia, or HIT, is a deficiency of blood platelets, the cells that help blood clot. A team of UA College of Medicine-Tucson researchers including Associate Vice President and Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics at UA Health Sciences, Dr. Yves Lussier, is working in support of a new grant with the aim to identify predictive and early biomarkers for HIT.
 
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Struggling to make sense of a large amount of student evaluations from her UA introductory biology course, Associate Vice Provost in the Office of Instruction and Assessment and BIO5 member, Dr. Lisa Elfring, developed a way to visualize the feedback. This kind of presentation provides her with the ability to create and test hypotheses of what students thought of a course.
 
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Although rare, common medications – including azithromycin and ondansetron – can contribute to prolonged heart-recharging intervals, which may lead to serious complications and hospital stays. To address this problem, UA researchers including College of Medicine-Phoenix professor Dr. Raymond Woosley, work to implement alerts embedded in patients’ electronic health records to assist health-care providers in mitigating sudden cardiac death.