Source: Bio-IT World | Benjamin Ross | May 13, 2019

The Bio-IT World Conference & Expo recently hosted the third annual Bio-IT FAIR Data Hackathon, giving experts in life sciences and IT the opportunity to FAIR-ify a range of existing data sets. Six teams of researchers spent two days using unique identifiers, linking additional data sets, and collecting appropriate metadata, all the while adhering to the principles of FAIR—Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable—data.

Ben Busby, a data scientist at the NCBI and a main organizer for this year’s event, says hackathons have recently become the hub of innovation, with solutions and ongoing projects getting their starts in these cohesive, creative environments.

“What we’re doing in these hackathons is really pushing the needle in science,” Busby said during the Hackathon’s report out. “People think of hackathons as a fun opportunity to share ideas, and that’s great. But we want to produce prototypes that move science forward, and I think that’s what we’ve done over the past few days.”

Datasets from Collaborative Drug Discovery, NCBI, the Broad Institute, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Find Bioscience, and Globus at the University of Chicago were given the FAIR treatment, with results varying from simple tinkering with the readability of a dataset to a revamping of standards that weren’t properly enforced.

Report Cards

Find Bioscience‘s team got the ball rolling, discussing their work generating a fungal index in the Sequence Read Archive (SRA), an archive of raw sequence data primarily from fungi. It’s a wonderful resource, Matthew Blumberg, the team’s lead, said during the team’s report out. So wonderful, in fact, that it has now become cluttered with data.

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