life sciences

Population health management with RevoScaleR

September 10, 2012 | David Smith

This guest post is by Douglas McNair MD PhD, Engineering Fellow & President, Cerner Math Inc. -- ed. RevoScaleR scaling big-data modeling performance for real-time health data analysis at Cerner The size of data sets is increasing much more rapidly than the speed of cores, of RAM, and of disk drives. ... [Read more...]

FDA: R OK for drug trials

June 21, 2012 | David Smith

In a poster (PDF) presented at the UseR 2012 conference, FDA biostatistician Jae Brodsky reiterated the FDA policy regarding software used to prepare submissions for drug approvals with clinical trials: Sponsors may use R in their submissions. The FDA does not endorse or require any particular software to be used for ... [Read more...]

Thursday: Tweet-chat on Multiple Sclerosis research

May 7, 2012 | David Smith

The story about the great work that SUNY Buffalo has been doing to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis with Revolution R Enterprise and IBM Netezza has generated a lot of attention, with stories in Forbes, InformationWeek and eWeek (amongst others). To continue the discussion, IBM has put together a ... [Read more...]

Big Data statistics in the search for a cure for MS

April 26, 2012 | David Smith

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating and complex disease with an unknown cause — and for which there is currently no cure. The SUNY Buffalo is home to one of the leading multiple sclerosis (MS) research centers in the world, and as reported in Healthcare IT News, the research team is ... [Read more...]

Bad Science at Strata 2012

March 1, 2012 | David Smith

Ben Goldacre, the physician and biostatistician behind the always-excellent Bad Science column in the Guardian, gave a barnburner of a talk at Strata 2012 yesterday, "The Information Architecture of Medicine is Broken". For anyone not aware of the problems caused by publication bias in clinical trials (for example, ineffective drugs with ... [Read more...]

Why you should care about reproducible research

September 12, 2011 | David Smith

This week's Economist has an in-depth article on the consequences of failures reproducible research, adding more detail to the report in the New York Times in July. Errors in data analysis by researchers at Duke University led to patients in clinical trials being assigned the wrong drug: Dr Potti and ... [Read more...]

useR! 2011 roundup

August 19, 2011 | David Smith

As I stand[*] here at Heathrow waiting for my flight back to the States, I thought I'd dash off a few quick reflections of the userR! 2011 conference at University Warwick. It was an outstanding event. There's something about a conference of just a few hundred attendees (there were about 450) that ... [Read more...]

IBM Netezza: Embrace open source analytics

July 22, 2011 | David Smith

Earlier this month Thomas Dinsmore, solutions architect for IBM Netezza’s Advanced Analytics team, had a great blog post on why companies should embrace R as an analytics platform. He says: There are three main reasons R should be part of your enterprise analytics architecture: R has capabilities not available ... [Read more...]

NYT on the importance of reproducible research

July 8, 2011 | David Smith

Yesterday's New York Times includes a great article on the failure of some genetic tests for cancer detection, and the flaws in the research that led to them. The article features quotes from Keith Baggerly of MD Anderson Cancer Center, and includes a photo of him and colleague Kevin Coombes ... [Read more...]

Five things Biologists should know about Statistics

June 21, 2011 | David Smith

In a thoughtful blog post, Bioinformatician Ewan Birney (Head of Nucleotide Data at the European Bioinformatics Institute) talks about the importance of Statistics to biologists: Biology is really about stats. Indeed, the foundation of much of frequentist statistics - RA Fisher and colleagues - were totally motivated by biological problems. ... [Read more...]

R in the Bioinformatics Knowledgeblog

June 21, 2011 | David Smith

The Knowledge Blog progect is a new, light-weight way of publishing scientific, academic and technical knowledge on the web, across several scientific disciplines. One such discipline is bioinformatics, and the Bioinformatics Knowledgeblog contains useful scientific reference material for bioinformatics, including several resources for R users. There you'll find an R ... [Read more...]

Parallel Computing with R for Life Sciences

May 18, 2010 | David Smith

I hadn't heard of the CloudAsia 2010 conference before, but from the programme the workshop Master Class on HPC Application For Life Sciences looked like it was interesting. One workshop session in particular caught my eye: Practical Parallel Computing in R by Xie Chao and Tan Tin Wee (from the National ... [Read more...]

Clinical Reporting with R

March 11, 2010 | David Smith

One of the main goals of analyzing clinical data is to produce a report. (What, you thought it was to make the world a better place?) The R Project has, of course, all the tools you need to perform the statistical analysis, calculate the tables of results, and present conclusions ... [Read more...]

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