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Genomic Science Program

The Genomic Science Program is in the DOE Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research Program.


BER Virtual Laboratory: Innovative Framework for Biological and Environmental Grand Challenges

A Report from the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee

This report contains information relevant to the Genomic Science Program.

The Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC) released in 2010 the Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long-Term Vision report. This document broadly addressed scientific opportunities and grand challenges in biological systems, climate, energy sustainability, computing, and education and workforce training.

In September 2011, the Office of Science charged BERAC to

  • Expand on the development and use of new tools mentioned in the Long Term Vision report.
  • Identify the development and use of new tools and their linkage to existing or new user facilities.
  • Identify linkages between new and existing resources and to diverse scales of time and space.
  • Expand on the concepts of virtual laboratories and collaborative tools, including a discussion of how to facilitate these concepts and interactions.

In response, a BERAC subcommittee was formed to identify the technology and tools most needed to support the biological and environmental research potential described in the Long-Term Vision report.

The resulting recommendations are described in a follow-up report, which recommends creating a BER Virtual Laboratory that would be developed by integrating and strategically expanding BER resources. A key goal of the Virtual Laboratory is to transition BER's research program from one associated with distributed datasets, specific process knowledge, and individual component models to one that provides a predictive understanding of key couplings and feedbacks among natural-system and anthropogenic processes across scales.

As a virtual resource, the proposed laboratory would serve as a research integration tool to implement this framework via three key components: integrated field laboratories (IFLs); a Biosystems Frontier Network; and cyberinfrastructure, analytics, simulation, and knowledge discovery (CASK).

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Publication date: February 2013

Suggested citation for this report:  BERAC. 2013. BER Virtual Laboratory: Innovative Framework for Biological and Environmental Grand Challenges; A Report from the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, DOE/SC-0156.
science.energy.gov/ber/berac/reports/.

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