ioinformatics), the official conference of the Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet) [1
] is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, as a joint conference with the first ISCB-Asia meeting of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) [2
], at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since the first 2002 meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, InCoB serves as one of the largest bioinformatics conferences in the Asia-Pacific region, publishing submissions as research papers in conference supplements of international PubMed-indexed open-access impact factor journals, since 2006.
As InCoB’s 10th anniversary coincides with that of the human genome, the results of the systematic genome-wide sequencing applied to medical purposes, are appearing in the literature according to Collins [3
], although Venter [4
] believes we still have a long way to go before genome sequencing reaches its full potential. While genomic data is reaching tsunami proportions [5
], its clinical applications are seen as a “slowly rising tide” [6
]. Perhaps, as Trelles et al. [7
] suggest, we are not yet ready for Big Data science. As succinctly summarized by Pennisi [8
], while sequencing technologies have become more and more affordable, the challenges of storing, comparing and analyzing the data appear to persist, despite computational solutions proposed by Schadt et al. [5
] and Zhou et al. [9
We see these issues as challenges for the next decade, with cloud [10
] and grid computing (reviewed in the first InCoB2006 publication [11
]), gearing up for the data deluge, and data interchange standards becoming better established and adopted. In the Asia-Pacific, large scientific consortia are addressing personal genomic questions of local interest, such as the Pan Asian SNP initiative [12
], which has provided a possible route for human migration into Asia [13
]. We have to figure out how to build the resources for hosting Big Data in our own regions, with well organized and structured access to this Big Data, as a first step. Concurrently, with pre-existing computational resources are already available to our researchers, we need to motivate our researchers to ask the right questions of this Big Data and generate meaningful results.
For InCoB/ISCB-Asia 2011, we have therefore introduced dedicated sessions in Standards in Bioinformatics, following a keynote address on Biocuration by Gaudet and BioCloud/Grid Computing for Sharing Bioinformatics Resources. From APBioNet, we will present the Minimum Information About a Bioinformatics Investigation initiative (MIABi) [14
] as well as a status update on BioDB100, the 100 MIABI-compliant BioDatabases initiative. We will also launch our BioSW100, the 100 MIABi-compliant BioSoftware initiative and invite the community to contribute to these ongoing projects, for provide Big Data in standardized format for developing distributed workflows that are grid- and cloud-enabled, to bring “bioinformatics to the bedside” a step closer to reality. We also noticed that since InCoB2008, accepted papers have focused on identifying target disease genes using networks, pathways and systems biology approaches as well as drug design and discovery, enabling translational bioinformatics.