Welcome to the ISCB Community News Blog

This blog collects news, announcements or other information which could be of interest to our ISCB members. We are a group ISCB members who volunteer to populate this blog on a regular basis. In case you want to become an "ISCB-News Reporter" yourself, let us know: contact ISCB
Don't repost copyrighted content! The guidelines are:
- Include a link to the source page
- Include a short summary about the article. You can quote up to ONE paragraph from the original story, but not more
- Don't repost an entire articles originating from another source
- Never post content without attribution — always include the source

To post a news, please use this form.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The DREAM9.5 Challenges

We are pleased to announce that the DREAM Olfaction Prediction Challenge, the first of the DREAM9.5 Challenges is now open for participation. This Challenge focuses on predicting behavioral responses to a panel of odors, and features a first-of-its-kind dataset. To learn more and join this Challenge, go to: https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn2811262.

Besides joining the Olfaction Prediction Challenge, you can also pre-register for one or more of the other 9.5 Challenges in preparation. In this way we can keep you informed about the readiness of these three Challenges for participation.

Best performers from the DREAM9.5 Challenges will be invited to present at the DREAM Conference (Nov 16, 2015, Philadelphia, PA, USA) with travel expenses covered by the DREAM/Sage organizers. DREAM and Sage Bionetworks are also working with high impact journals to ensure that the methodology developed by the Challenges' best performers will be considered for publication under the Challenge-assisted Peer Review format

The DREAM9.5 Challenges

1) DREAM Olfaction Prediction Challenge: OPEN ·
* Challenge Focus: Predict behavioral responses to a panel of odors
* Join the Challenge: https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn2811262

2) Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge. Launch Target: Late February, 2015
* Challenge Focus: Predict survival for prostate cancer patients based on patients' clinical variables
* Learn more and pre-register for this Challenge: https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn2813558

3) ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling Tumor Heterogeneity Challenge (SMC-Het): Launch Target: Early March, 2015
* Challenge Focus: Identify the best subclonal reconstruction algorithms and to identify the conditions that affect their performance.
* Learn more and pre-register for this Challenge: https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn2813581

4) ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling RNA Challenge (SMC-RNA): Launch Target: TBA
* Challenge Focus: Benchmark approaches for the calling of various types of RNA mutations and splice variants
* Learn more and pre-register for this Challenge: https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn2813589

To learn more about DREAM and Sage Bionetworks please go to http://dreamchallenges.org/ and http://sagebase.org

URL: http://dreamchallenges.org/

Contact Person: Gustavo Stolovitzky (gustavo@us.ibm.com)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ISCB Fight against Ebola Award

Speed is of the essence in combating Ebola; thus, computational approaches should form a significant component of Ebola research. As for the development of any modern drug, computational biology is uniquely positioned to contribute through comparative analysis of the genome sequences of Ebola strains as well as 3-D protein modeling. Other computational approaches to Ebola may include large-scale docking studies of Ebola proteins with human proteins and with small-molecule libraries, computational modeling of the spread of the virus, computational mining of the Ebola literature, and creation of a curated Ebola database.

Taken together, such computational efforts could significantly accelerate traditional scientific approaches. In recognition of the need for important and immediate solutions from the field of computational biology against Ebola, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) announces a prize for an important computational advance in fighting the Ebola virus. ISCB will confer the ISCB Fight against Ebola Award, along with a prize of US$2,000, at its July 2016 annual meeting (ISCB Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) 2016, Orlando, Florida).
URL: http://f1000research.com/articles/4-12/v1

Contact Person: Diane Kovats (dkovats@iscb.org)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

FASEB Releases Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Science

This week, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) released an analysis of the threats to continued progress in biological and medical science research. Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Science: A Framework for Discussion examines the challenges facing researchers and presents a series of recommendations to alleviate them.

Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Science: A Framework for Discussiondocuments how shortfalls in federal funding and rising regulatory costs have constrained research budgets. At the same time, scientific opportunities have expanded and more individuals are seeking funding. These opposing trends have resulted in an increasingly unstable research enterprise, delaying scientific discovery.

In the newly released statement, FASEB offers three broad categories of recommendations for consideration:

· Increased advocacy for predictable, sustainable growth in research budgets while striving to make optimal use of existing resources
· Re-examination of the way research is funded, making certain that we provide incentives to encourage the best science and reduce the amount of time spent seeking funding, and
· Improved preparation and utilization of the workforce.

To facilitate feedback from the members of FASEB societies and the broader research community, FASEB has created a website for reviewing the document and recording comments.

FASEB is composed of 27 societies with more than 120,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.
URL: http://faseb.org

Contact Person: Lawrence Green (lgreen@faseb.org)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Science Insider Story About Sustaining Discovery

An article on the Sustaining Discovery discussion framework was posted this morning: http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/01/largest-u-s-biomedical-research-society-weighs-nih-s-budget-woes

The Sustaining Discovery website is now live at http://www.faseb.org/SustainingDiscovery/Home.aspx
URL: http://www.faseb.org

Contact Person: Howard H. Garrison, Ph.D. (info@faseb.org)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

FASEB Releases Its Newest Publication in the Horizons in Bioscience Series

Bethesda, MD – The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is pleased to announce the release of the latest publication in the Horizons in Bioscienceseries, "Nanomedicine: A Targeted Approach." The article describes the emerging field of nanoparticle targeting.

Nanomedicine is beginning to change the way scientists and physicians diagnose and treat disease. Unlike conventional therapies, these tiny particles – 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair – can seek out diseased tissue and access hard to reach places in the body. This article will provide readers with an understanding of what nanoparticles are, how they specifically target diseased tissue, and how they can diagnose and treat some of our most devastating diseases.


The Horizons in Bioscience series is a collection of short, illustrated articles published by FASEB that describe scientific discoveries on the brink of clinical application. Printed copies of the articles are available at no cost for educational or advocacy purposes and can be requested by visiting the Breakthroughs in Bioscience website at www.faseb.org/breakthroughs or by contacting FASEB's Office of Public Affairs at 301-634-7650.
URL: http://www.faseb.org/pdfviewer.aspx?loadthis=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.faseb.org%2FPortals%2F2%2FPDFs%2Fopa%2F2015%2Fnanoparticles%2520horizons%2520article.pdf

Contact Person: Lawrence Green (mailto:lgreen@faseb.org)

Monday, January 5, 2015

RECOMB 2015 Call for Posters and Highlights

RECOMB 2015 (http://www.recomb2015.pl ) invites the submission of abstracts of papers that have been published in a journal after October 1, 2013 or papers that are "in press" at the time of submission and are already linked on the journal web site.

"Highlight" papers can be submitted to the main RECOMB conference as well as to the satellite meetings RECOMB-seq and RECOMB-ccb (http://www.recomb2015.pl/satellite-meetings ). The papers will be selected for presentation by taking into consideration the impact of the work on the field, the likelihood that the work will make a good presentation and the relevance to biological and biomedical research in general.

Please visit https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=recomb2015 to submit your abstract. Submissions must contain an abstract (about 200 words, plain justified text in 10pt character size, formatted to fit A4: 21 x 29.7 cm, including title, author(s), affiliation, e-mail, a link to the published journal version, the identity of the presenter (in case of a multi-authored paper), the name of the meeting(s)submitted to in order of preference (i.e., RECOMB, RECOMB-seq, or RECOMB-ccb) followed by the abstract text. Abstracts lacking this information will not be considered. Accepted presenters for the Highlight Track are required to make the presentation themselves, and must register and pay to attend the conference.

Key dates
Submission deadline: January 15, 2015
Acceptance notification: January 31, 2015

Please also be aware that RECOMB 2015 allows presentation of your work in a poster session. The poster abstract submission is handled by tha same website and the submission deadline is February 15th.

More information can be found on the RECOMB 2015 website: http://www.recomb2105.pl

URL: http://www.recomb2015.pl

Contact Person: Bartek Wilczynski (bartek@mimuw.edu.pl)