The new web-based tool accelerates the research of diseases such as dementia and sports …

Scientists in the United States, Europe and South America report on how the new cloud computing platform enables scientists to track data and brain analysis, thereby potentially reducing detection delays.

The project, called brainlife.io, is led by Franco Pestilli, associate professor at the Department of Psychology and Brain Science at Bloomington University of Art and Science at Indiana University and a member of the IU Institute of Science Network, in collaboration with colleagues at the University. The IU accelerates research on diseases such as dementia, sports vibrations and eye diseases.

A new article on the project was published in the May 30 issue Scientific data.

"Scientists are increasingly using modern technology to reduce the human error in scientific-research practice," said Pestilli, who founded brainlife.io 2017 with the support of the National Science Foundation and Microsoft.

"This article describes a unique mechanism that enables scientists across the world to share data and analyzes that allow them to reproduce the results of research and extend them to new frontiers of human understanding," he added. "The advantage of such a platform is faster brain disease research."

The system manages all aspects of research that increase the likelihood that people will make mistakes as machines, eg, track data and code for analysis, store information, and create visualizations.

Brainlife.io will be used in IU to enhance research into several health research studies. Examples include:

– Research on Alzheimer's disease under Andrewa Sayk's guidance at the Indianapolis Medical School.

– Macular degeneration studies in collaboration with researchers in Japan and Europe recently published in the journal Structure and function of the brain.

The new work includes a "Case Study" for the development of a comprehensive research study, including data collection, analysis and visualization on the brainlife.io platform. It also describes how the system stores data and analysis into a unique digital record to create research resources that other scientists can reuse in their work.

"I like to call the new technology by the data collection process," Pestilli said. "New research scientists are creating and sharing brainlife.io, and others can easily reuse them to overcome the original research goals."

For example, a study on traumatic brain injury could combine data from the Alzheimer's disease study to understand the underlying biological mechanisms in both diseases.

In addition, brainlife.io is designed to store and process data obtained from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance – a form of capture that uses the water molecules in the brain to create a detailed plan of nerve paths in the brain. visualize these nerves and understand the network of relationships that make up the brain.

"Using these pictorial techniques revolutionized the knowledge of brain networks and the effects of white matter on human behavior and disease," Pestilli said. In addition, huge amounts of data are generated that require significant computer storage and analysis resources.

Part of that computer power comes from Microsoft, which has chosen brainlife.io as one of the top eight projects that took advantage of the company's initiative to grab $ 3 million in a credit account for Big Data Spokes and project planning. Assign NSF, which belongs to IU. The project is also supported by NSF's BRAIN initiative, a federal project to create new physical and conceptual brain-intelligence tools.

IU collaborators for brainlife.io include Soichi Hayashi, a software engineer at IU Pervasive Technology Institute; PhD Brad Caron, Lindsey Kitchell, Brent McPherson and Dan Bullock; students Yiming Qian of Andrew Patterson. Bullock and McPherson received the support of National Institutes of Health and NSF.

Other authors of the article are researchers from the University of Indiana, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Northwestern University, Trent University in Italy and CONICET in Argentina.

"This research divides new methods and platforms that help neuroscients to collaborate in different disciplines, exchange data, reproduce results and strengthen neuroscience," said Kurt Thoroughman, NSF Program Officer. These findings point to NSF's dedication to the BRAIN initiative and efforts to improve the understanding of the neural foundations of human cognition. These findings have implications for brain science, including understanding of normal brain functions and improving the outcomes of more than one million Americans with stroke. "

"This work is revolutionary because it combines brain tracking data, reference processing resources, and powerful command line tools and visualization," said Vani Mandava, director of science data at Microsoft Research. "Supporting innovative solutions to technical challenges that enable new insights and treatments in the brain, such as this open-source data and science-based interface, is part of Microsoft's research mission."

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