Telescope: A Smart bioinformatics tool to manage analysis
An interactive tool for managing large-scale biomaterial analysis in real time and from portable devices has been newly developed by a team of researchers from UCLA, the University of St. Paul, the Federal University of São Carlos and the University of Southern California. It was first presented in a paper on arXiv that called this new tool, Telescope.
TelesCope is a team of fellows of the University of Quantitative and Computational Biosciences’ post-doctoral degrees from the UCLA Collaboratory.
Working at the UCLA Collaboratory enables these researchers to interact with other university students and faculty with different levels of computer biology expertise. Thus the team ultimately developed a user-friendly tool for the management of large-scale analysis of bioinformatics.
The researchers told TechXplore via e-mail: “Bost life science and biomedical studies today aim so subtle, difficult to detect that huge amounts of data and power are now the new status quo. “For those without formal computational training, researchers often describe the too high degree of dependence on command line tools as lenient and highly unintuitive.”
Particularly effective have been found for specialist training initiatives and workshops in encouraging researchers to start using powerful methods for large-scale bioinformatics analysis. However, most methods for access to these techniques are not well integrated into wet laboratory environments, where the majority of biological experiments are conducted. With this in mind, the researchers have developed a tool for improving integration among bioinformatics instruments and wet laboratory research.
“The Telescope proposed to foster integration and close collaboration between research in wet laboratories and bioinformatics and to reduce learning curves traditionally necessary for the performance of complex bioinformatic analysis in computer systems.” “The challenge, however, was to ensure that the final solution actually resolved the gaps and that most researchers were intuitive to them.”
The researchers decided to launch Telescope at the II Hackathon event in early 2018 in order to present their solutions to both technological researchers and those with limited computational ability. Hackathon brings together IT and coding experts to enable them to acquire IT expertise as a group , for example, by explore how scripts are created and bioinformatics tools are applied on datasets.
“Both newbies wanted to get their hands dirty by using data as quickly as possible, and technology experts who wanted a much easier way to check their work from their telephones,” the scientists explained. “Telescope from and for the community was therefore designed.”
Most scientists conducting experiments in wet laboratories have to meet significant time requirements. Telescope is designed for better management of workloads, monitoring, and real-time analysis of bioinformatics.
Telescope reinforces the connection between wet laboratory experiments and instruments for analysis of large quantities of biological data. This is done through the provision of a safe and user-friendly platform where users can launch their research and manage tasks relevant to high-performance bioinformatics jobs in clusters.
“The telescope uses common web frameworks like Twitter’s Bootstrap to provide an eye-candy user experience and to support an extendable interface.” “The key of Telescope manages and stores access keys for users that use industry standards in order to support both new and experienced users.”
The access keys stored in Telescope are used to connect high-performance computer clusters via secure shells to update the latest job status and issue new commands whenever necessary. Telescope enables wet laboratory scientists to track their working status directly on their mobile device and to easily reach preliminary results of their bioinformatics analyzes. This allows them to identify and cancel potential problems early with their tests without the need to use a computer.
“Telescope is a more intuitive and interactive tool than the usual way of using command lines at Linux terminals.” “For example, sharing analysis results is as easy as sharing a link on Twitter and Facebook. However, we feel that the engagement of the traditionally non-computer-based community at the beginning of the development is our most significant achievement.”
This new bioinformatics analysis management tool has closely taken into consideration the needs of biology researchers. In fact, the Hackathon event has been used by the team to collect feedback and information from biological experts with various levels of IT expertise and computer analytical experience.
The tool that is now available on the GitHub, developed by this group of researchers, can help biology experts to manage bioinformatics analyzes in a simpler and more intuitive way. The telescope is customizable and extensible, in addition to enabling biomedical researchers to access the power of large computing equipment from their mobile devices. This means that users can add new features to it or can help to develop it further.