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CIT Seeks Solutions to Global Warming ... And the Common Cold

CIT Seeks Solutions to Global Warming ... And the Common Cold

Published on: Tuesday, 25 January 2011

On the 14th January, CIT hosted CERC 2011: the inaugural Collaborative European Research Conference, which was initiated to foster research across all disciplines within European third level research and educational institutes. The conference took place at CIT Blackrock Castle and continues today.

A key presentation at the conference was “Can we fix global warming and cure the common cold?” by John Carroll, Dr Paul Walsh, Dr Roy Sleator, Paul Rothwell.

Biotechnology has the potential to allow researchers to develop new technology, ranging from gene based medical treatment, to new bio fuels and beyond. However this research is complicated, given that genetic data continues to be generated at a massive rate. Along with this there is a significant lack of expertise in the computational biology arena, which makes the task of identifying the most important biological information difficult. These problems have become a limiting factor in the development of genetically driven molecular therapeutics/diagnostics and products.

The bioinformatics group in CIT which consists of Dr Roy Sleator (Department of Biological Sciences), Dr Paul Walsh and Paul Rothwell (Department of Computing) and John Carroll are currently developing software called BioMapper. The software will allow researchers to make genomic discoveries in a secure and auditable computing environment. Biomapper combines ICT (information and communications technology) and biotechnology into a new biology based information science; one in which high end computing is applied to identify new genes, predict new protein structures, design new and improved drugs and investigate many illnesses such as cancer, obesity or even the common cold. Bioinformatics and Biotechnology research is not only being applied to medicine but is being used for example to create new fuels from bacteria, improve some foods taste and texture and also to treat waste.

Another key presentation was 'How can we work in the global, virtual workspace?' Ralf Freidrich, Dr Paul Walsh, Dr Udo Bleimann. Today, we are faced with a revolution and nobody talks about it. This revolution happens quietly and for most of us invisible. It happens through the internet. Particularly in software development, this new way of global cooperation is visible already: We may only know our co-workers through virtual communication!

Virtual teamwork changes rapidly. Think about virtual worlds like SecondLife® or the new technical devices such as smartphones and tablet-pc's offering new usage and processing of information.

On the human side, different generations meet: “digital natives“: people who are born into computer technology, and "digital immigrants“, people, who came in contact with computers later in their professional life.

The Collaborative European Research Conference (CERC) is the result of a long standing research cooperation between CIT and the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, Germany.

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