In the era of "big data," many scientific discoveries are being made without researchers ever stepping foot in traditional laboratories. Often, data from numerous experiments is gathered and disregarded, with only the desired results analyzed. Now, researchers at the
"Researchers essentially deposit their results from experiments into the database, and high capacity computer systems crunch the numbers to help determine results," said
Highly collaborative in nature, SoyKB uses computational methods developed by computer science engineers that can be used for many disciplines, such as health sciences, animal sciences, physics and genetics. Additionally, a 3D-protein modeling tool available at the website assists with researchers studying drug design. Pharmaceutical companies may test hypotheses and, in some situations, the proposed drug may yield the expected results--formulated solely by data analysis making drug design more cost effective.
"Humans only can look at so many lines in an excel spreadsheet--then it just kind of blurs," said
Joshi is a valued resource to the finished product because she has both a biology degree and a computer science background, or a "foot in each camp," Stacey said.
"SoyKB has turned out to be a very good public resource for the soybean community to cross reference and check the details of their findings," Joshi said. "It can be really difficult for biologists to handle the large scope of data by themselves, and this tool allows researchers to focus more on the biology."
SoyKB is a part of the
Joshi's research highlights the Food for the Future area of The Mizzou Advantage, an initiative that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, staff, students and external partners to solve real-world problems in four areas of strength identified at the
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