April/May 2007


From lab to enterprise

Integration is the great theme of contemporary laboratory informatics. Ultimately it is based on the belief that scientific data and knowledge is valuable to more people than just those who created it in the first place – that other people, those outside the laboratory, will find value in the information generated within the laboratory.


Parallel power reaches new heights

Over the next five years, we want to make sure every scientist and engineer has access to the computing power he needs, from the individual desktop, to the department, to whole company clusters,’ says Bjorn Tromsdorf, the high-performance computing product and solutions manager of EMEA Microsoft.

And when a company like Microsoft makes a statement like that, you know high performance computing is headed for the mainstream.


Image is everything

Image analysis covers a lot of territory, these days. From astronomy to microbiology, if there is a field of study which remains immune then I haven’t found it. Some of the glamorously obvious applications which it underpins are in biometrics, where it is used in fingerprint readers and facial recognition systems touched upon in last year’s pattern recognition article [1], but it is just as important to the routine application of science.


A breakthrough in fractures

When engineers build things they are usually happy when it works and look no further. Peter Gumbsch is a scientist who wants to know why one thing works and another does not. This involves looking, at a fundamental level, at the materials the engineers use and trying to work out why they have the bulk properties that they do.