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'Biomedical Facebook' launches to speed up cancer research

Europe's Granatum.org aims to connect pharma, academia and other research bodies

Biomedical Facebook GarantumA new drug discovery website that aims to be a 'Facebook for researchers' has launched with a mission to accelerate cancer drug research.

Granatum.org wants to bring together biomedical researchers from pharma, universities and research institutes and make it easier for them to interact and cooperate.

The site provides access to the biomedical knowledge and data resources needed to prepare complex experiments to identify novel agents for cancer prevention and to design experimental studies.

It hopes that by helping researchers to build and share hypotheses, search databases, and design and execute in-silico experiments, potential chemoprevention drugs can be better screened ahead of any in-vitro and in-vivo testing. This, in turn, should speed up oncology research and even reduce costs.

Granatum is partially funded by the European Commission and its other partners include the National University of Ireland, Galway; Cybion Srl, Italy; the German Cancer Research Center; and Fraunhofer FIT.

Deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, and the project's coordinator, Prof Wolfgang Prinz said: "The Granatum Portal will socially connect biomedical research across national boundaries, ease scientific exchange and, for the first time, allow collaboration in formulating hypotheses and testing potential drugs."

Granatum has been in development for two years and its vision is to bridge the information, knowledge and collaboration gap among biomedical researchers in Europe.

At launch the website has information from 83 global data sources, which will be available in an “integrated, semantically interlinked manner”.

Based on the Granatum Biomedical Semantic Model researchers will be able to semantically annotate, manage and access biomedical resources, such as public databases, digital libraries and archives, online communities and discussions.

18th September 2013

From: Research

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