Bioinformatics Conference--Day 2

by Bruce Stewart

The second day of the O'Reilly Bioinformatics conference got under way with a distinctly open source flavor, as Ewan Birney delivered the morning keynote on Open Source Bioinformatics. Read our report on Ewan's Keynote for more details. The crowd then broke up into smaller groups to attend a variety of morning sessions.

Two separate sessions on data visualization generated a lot of interest, as well as a talk on “High-Performance Proteomic Analysis: Challenges and Solutions.” Uwe Hilgert, a curriculum developer from the Dolan DNA Learning Center at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, delivered a popular session on bioinformatics in education. This afternoon’s panel on “Academic Freedom Collides with the Bayh/Dole Amendment” should be a hot one for those interested in intellectual property issues as they relate to bioinformatics. I’m not going to miss it, and I’ll let you know how it went.

The afternoon keynote promises to be equally interesting, as Lincoln Stein is presenting a widely anticipated speech on "Bioinformatics: Building a Nation from a Land of City States.” Check back tomorrow for a detailed report on Lincoln's speech. I’m also looking forward to tonight’s BOF meeting of the folks, whose petition to require publicly-funded software to be licensed as open source has already caused quite a stir.

Last night we were treated to a little bit of lighter fare, as our own editor and conference co-chair Nathan Torkington emceed a hilarious Bioinformatics Quiz Show. Four brave panels of attendees tried their best to answer a wide range of questions, and learned the lesson that it was often a good idea to wait until the entire question was completed, as they sometimes took a strange turn.