Scientists doing research often need serious computing capability to run simulations and crunch data. Often that meant working for a large company who could provide the significant investment in information systems infrastructure. But cloud computing changed all that. Consider the case of biologist Dr. Eric Schadt, a researcher who claims that approaches to studying the complexity of living systems have failed. Studying one gene at a time doesn’t explain what causes diseases, making it impossible to find the cures sought by the scientific and pharmacology communities. Dr. Schadt’s vision is to manage this area of research, and the large amount of data generated, which appears to be too much for any one individual or company to manage, by creating a human social network. Dr. Schadt believes this organization reflects the complexity of the living systems he studies, and therefore it’s necessary to understand it. Dr. Schadt cofounded a nonprofit organization dedicated to biological research using an open-source sharing of data, called Sage Bionetworks. He deeply believes that sharing is the key to finding cures, and creating drugs, that will combat diseases. And his company has millions of dollars worth of data from some of the major pharmaceutical companies to use to begin their research. But by day, he’s the Chief Scientific Officer of a start up, Pacific Biosciences, whose technology helps biologists look at individual molecules of DNA in real-time. His job is to work on how to use this technology for PacBio and to collaborate with others who want to use this technology for their research. So he travels a lot. But to do his research, he needs access to the capacity of a supercomputer since the amount of data he needs to use for his research is very large.
Case Study 6-2b195
With the use of the Web, he’s able to do his work anyplace. Planes are especially favored because he has significant uninterrupted time. According to one article about Dr. Schadt, “He has...
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