Living figures: reproducing published experiments in situ
Speaking about the issues thrown up by ‘Big Data’, The Economist reported in the article “Welcome to the Yotta World” that, by 2018, there would be a talent gap of ~150,000 data-science professionals globally. The problem is particularly acute in high-throughput biology. Here, complex environment- and software set-ups are required to support down-stream data analyses; this can have profound consequences not only for how analyses are performed, but also for how results are interpreted and reported in the scientific literature. As a result, scientists often find it impossible to repeat published experiments faithfully. New approaches are therefore required to forge better links between published articles and their underlying data, to help researchers visualise and reproduce the results described in the papers they read.
Based mainly at TGAC, the candidate will gain industrial experience through periodic visits to the headquarters of eLife (the equivalent of 1 month per annum) to work with Ian Mulvany, head of technical development at the journal. Visualisation of genomic data, and their integration with analysis platforms (e.g., Galaxy), will also be an essential part of the project. TGAC’s infrastructure, computing facilities and involvement in high-throughput biological research, coupled with eLife’s innovative publishing practices and Manchester’s smart PDF reader technology, will provide the appropriate technological framework to underpin this novel investigation into reproducibility, and the ideal environment for developing a new generation of easy-to-use tools for interacting with life-science literature.