This week I marveled at the organising skills of some young and enterprising bioinformatics researchers who had put together what they called India’s first virtual conference on bioinformatics in real time — Inbix ’10.
Going by the content of the conference — pre-recorded and live streaming talks, lively interactions as well as poster presentations — it did look like they made the most of the time-honored, cost-effective means of conferencing benefiting the Indian bioinformatics fraternity. This conference succeeded the African Bioinformatics conference (Afbix ’09) organised in collaboration with the African Virtual Bioinformatics Network in 2009.
Experts from India, Singapore, USA and Denmark spoke on a variety of subjects. There were talks on computational protein structure prediction methods, use of sequence diversity in emerging infectious agents for vaccine designing diagnostic tool development, open access tools in systems biology, mathematical models for simulation of multicellular virtual tissues, use of genomic expression data and metabolite pathway information to predict tumorigenic potential of chemicals, computational framework for the profiling and prioritisation of environmental chemicals, large-scale analysis of tissue-specific pathology and gene expression of human disease genes, open source drug discovery model for TB and analysing genetic data on human disease and the pathways associated with these genes.
The conference organised by the Indian bioinformatics network Bioclues and US-based Bioinformatics Organization opens up the possibility of creating such low-cost platforms for international conferencing in Indian labs.