The discovery of DNA and of the genetic code prompted the introduction of the concept of information in the realm of life sciences. Moreover, since biology has entered the post-genomic age, the ever-increasing quantity of biological data has dramatically challenged our capacity to process and analyze data. Efficient algorithms and powerful systems are needed in order to tackle the problem of transforming this deluge of data in new knowledge about organisms and biological processes.
The research coordinated by Enrico Blanzieri focuses on the gene@home project, developed in collaboration with FEM and IMEM-CNR. This project aims to expand knowledge about gene regulatory networks with the support of voluntary computation. It currently involves hundreds of volunteers and thousands of computers with an estimated power of 11 TeraFlops. A collaboration on protein function prediction involves Andrea Passerini who, within the DSML research program, applies state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to bioinformatics problems.