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HKU Biomedical Engineering Team Develop New Bioinformatic Tool

The cell is the basic unit of life. Over time, cells in the human body constantly change into different forms. While they have been studied for over a century, cells remain a challenging area to examine. This includes what they do and how they change over time during normal health or ageing, or how these changes in cellular structure result in diseases like cancer.

An interdisciplinary team led by Professor Kevin K.M. Tsia of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Hong Kong (HKU) has developed a new computational tool “VIA” that overcomes the current challenges in the study of normal and malignant cell transformation. VIA can discover elusive cell lineages and rare cell fates in a variety of biological processes that no other existing technology can do, shedding important light on how diseases evolve.

The new technology has been published in Nature Communications. Some research teams in the US and the Mainland have already adopted VIA for COVID-19 research, to track and predict immune responses after infections or vaccinations, and the body’s response to treatments. A media conference will be held on 8 February 2022 to introduce the new technology. And the researchers will also demonstrate how VIA works including revealing the fascinating and intricate process at a single cell precision that turns a single fertilised egg into a whole new individual with all the organs.

The global bioinformatics market size generated US$8.6 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$24.7 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 13.4% from 2020 to 2027. Bioinformatics is a combination of biology and information technology, which links biological data with techniques for information storage, distribution, and analysis to support multiple areas of scientific research, including biomedicine. It uses software tools for database creation, data management, data warehousing, data mining, and others. Mining such data leads to scientific discoveries, which is used in the study of genetics and genomes.

Several bioinformatics tools are available on the market. They are categorised as protein functional & analysis tools, homology & similarity tools, sequence analysis tools, and miscellaneous tools. The field covers many advanced and specialised areas of life such as structural genomics, functional genomics, DNA microarrays, comparative genomics, and medical information. Hence, these aforementioned factors boost the global bioinformatics market share.

While most industries struggled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some industries have seen a positive impact; one of these is the bioinformatics industry. This industry was already a fast-growing industry before the COVID-19 crisis hit. This is attributed to bioinformatics tools, which can handle large volumes of biological data, a term that was initially coined with the first sharing of biological sequence data. Bioinformatics has now become a multi-disciplinary area, which is of acute relevance in the current time.

The global bioinformatics market is expected to register substantial growth soon, owing to the rise in need for integrated data, rise in demand for nucleic acid & protein sequencing, owing to reduction in sequencing cost, and increase in applications of proteomics & genomics.

In addition, drug discovery & development and initiatives from government & private organisations are expected to boost the market growth during the forecast period. However, a lack of skilled personnel, common data formats, and lack of user-friendly tools at cheaper prices are projected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. Conversely, an increase in the need for integrated solutions & systems, integration of machine learning & AI in healthcare and software companies investing in the development of bioinformatics solutions are expected to offer remunerative market opportunities to bioinformatics solution developers.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.