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UA-led research team awarded $50 million to solve plant biology's grand challenge questions
Date:1/30/2008

ical and Computer Engineering, the Arizona Research Labs Biotechnology Computing Facility and University Information Technology Services.

The iPlant center will be located in the UAs BIO5 Institute in Tucson and will be administered by BIO5, the UAs premier biotechnology center. BIO5 was founded to encourage collaboration across scientific disciplines, accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and develop innovative solutions to societys most complex biological challenges.

The iPlant team, said Joann Roskoski, executive officer of the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences, has a compelling vision for an organization by, for and of the community, that will bring to bear the power of cyberinfrastructure to enable scientists everywhere to take on some of the most important questions in plant science.

The iPlant Collaborative will create both a physical center and a virtual computing space where researchers can communicate and work together as they share, analyze and manipulate data, all while seeking answers to plant biologys greatest unsolved mysteries its grand-challenge questions.

Solving grand challenges is crucial, Jorgensen says, because plants affect every aspect of our lives. Everythings connected, he explains. As our climate changes and our environment changes we need to have a deep understanding of the biology of plants from the molecular to the ecosystem level in order to understand and mitigate the problems that will arise to adapt as best we can and to focus our efforts on saving the organisms and ecosystems that are most important to save.

The collaborative is designed so that any research team from any consortium of institutions or disciplines can propose a grand-challenge question. iPlant will facilitate the identification of such questions by the plant biology community (two to four the first year) and develop the iPlant cyberinfrastructure to help scientists answer those questions.

The cyberi
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Contact: Johnny Cruz
cruzj@email.arizona.edu
520-621-1879
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert

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