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Visualizing Biological Data 2016 Conference Wrap Up

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An eclectic cocktail of over 160 scientists, illustrators, software developers and designers converged on EMBL, Heidelberg’s impressive Advanced Training Centre (ATC) to discuss computational visualization of diverse biological data.

Now in its seventh year, VIZBI attracts a truly global following, alternating annually between the EMBL and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the USA. This year’s conference featured 21 invited talks, tackling current challenges of visualizing data from genomes, transcripts, proteins, cells, organisms and populations.

All participants were given the opportunity to present a 60 second Lightening Talk within which to attract visitors to their posters. This interactive platform was extremely popular with attendees, described by Christina Rode a PhD student at Oxford University’s WIMM as ‘a valuable opportunity to showcase my work (on blood stem cell development’.

Keynote Gaël McGill, is Harvard Faculty and still finds time for several leading biovisualisation projects namely as co-author and digital director of E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, creator of the online portal Clarafi.com and CEO of Digizyme. He provided a mesmerizing overview of this impressive work and launched the latest version of Molecular Maya, a free plugin for Autodesk Maya that lets users import, model and animate molecular structures.

Supporting onsite exhibitors FEI, demonstrating their powerful Amira 3D software application for visualizing and understanding life sciences data, and DEMCON nymus3D, screening their impressive 3D animations of complex scientific subjects, were certainly kept busy with numerous inquisitive visitors attracted to their graphic displays.

Event organizer Seán O'Donoghue, Chief Executive Science Leader for Australia's CSIRO, is very positive about future VIZBI events, especially the potential of biovisualisation as key to improving the understanding of big data.

160 Attendees

3 Exhibitors