The scientist who helps other scientists breaks the ‘big data barrier’

The scientist who helps other scientists breaks the 'big data barrier'

Dr. Canton said that operating truly complex microscopes is central to one of his missions, while another is able to interpret the massive amount of data they generate.

Cancer cells in the wrong color as seen with the lattice light-sheet microscope.debt:Nick Canton & Samantha Stephens

Instead of looking at a cell on a slide, scientists can capture data in 3D in minutes or hours, resulting in terabytes of data that need to be sorted and analyzed.

“Creating a terabyte of data in an hour is very easy now, but it’s only half the story,” he said.

“Having a hard drive full of data is great, but it’s useless if you can explore it and figure out what’s going on.”

Dr. Canton was recently awarded a grant of more than $ 800,000 (US $ 595,000) from the San Zuckerberg Initiative.

Founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, CZI has been donating many similar grants around the world to experts such as Dr. Canton.

He said he would fund the next phase of his project to use microscopes and analyze their data to enhance the capabilities of his fellow scientists at IMB.

In addition to helping other scientists, Dr. Condon has worked to see how cells interact with their environment, leading to insights into how the body’s immune system can fight disease.

“For example, in my PhD, we discovered a new algorithm for how cells model their environment,” he said.

“By looking at the data, we found that the data needs to be captured in 3D and captured over time.”

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Ian Henderson, Director of IMB, Dr. Canton successfully installed the Laddu Light-Sheet Microscope at IMB and spearheaded advances in hardware, software and training.

“This initiative, developed by Dr. Canton, will help microscopy users control their large databases, speed up the handling and analysis of large data, and ultimately speed up the scientific process,” said Professor Henderson.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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