The Network of Biothings, first announced in December of 2013, is being imagined by a loose, self-organizing consortium of people who share the vision of uniting and linking the world’s biological and medical knowledge. In support of this vision, The Su Laboratory, with partners at UCSD, is gearing up to host the second Network of Biothings Hackathon. The first hackathon was an exciting and very educational event that sparked some useful projects such as http://myvariant.info/. We are hoping to build on that momentum with an even more successful second event.
If you would like to participate in Hackathon 2, you can begin by helping us solve the most challenging problem of all: picking dates for a hackathon! Please fill in dates that you would be available to come hack with us in San Diego at this poll:
Why should you bother?
When faced with challenges such as selecting the best treatment for a patient or coming up with the next candidate drug target for a rare disease, we are now presented with an unbelievable wealth of data including: full genome sequencing, mRNA expression, miRNA expression, methylation, metabolomics, proteomics, clinical, imaging, and on and on. In order for this new data to be useful, we depend on networks of knowledge. For example, we may be able to detect that a particular gene is acting unusually in a patient, but we need to know something about that gene’s biological function before we can use the new information to inform a clinical decision. Many many valuable databases continue to arise that help address this fundamental challenge, but there is a clear consensus that most knowledge – especially the vast amount that is shared through the literature – is not accessible in any coherent form. With your help, that coherent form – whatever it ends up looking like – could arise from the Network of Biothings.