Archive for April, 2011

NIF Webinar – April 12, 2011 / Topic: DISCO Service

Posted on April 5th, 2011 in Webinar Announcement | No Comments »

The Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) hosts Webinar series on topics focused on collaborating with NIF, getting involved in building the NIF vocabulary, using NIF portal resources, as well as other appropriate NIF topics.

Hello everyone,

The next NIF Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 11:00 am PDT. Please join Jonathan Cachat & Luis Marenco as we talk about the DISCO service. DISCO is an information integration approach designed to facilitate interoperation among Internet resources. It consists of a set of tools and services (e.g. sitemaps, LinkOut Broker) that allows resource providers who maintain information to share it with automated systems such as NIF. NIF is then able to “harvest” the information and keep that information up-to-date.

NIF has recently implemented DISCO to facilitate interoperability between resourcesand the NIF system. Join us as we introduce these DISCO services, overview the DISCO dashboard and discuss proper configuration of DISCO files. Once established, NIF will then be able to harvest resource data ensuring that the most up-to-date information is available to our community.

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 • 11:00-12:00 PST
Topic: DISCO Service
Presenter: Jonathan Cachat & Luis Marenco
Dial-In (toll-free): 866-740-1260
Access Code: 8220739

Mark your calendars! See you there.

Neuroinformatics 2011 Sep 4 – 6, Call for Abstracts

Posted on April 5th, 2011 in News & Events | No Comments »

Neuroinformatics 2011: Boston, Sept 4 – 6
Call for Abstracts! –

Abstract submission is open. Please note the submission deadline – April 19.

INCF is an international organization devoted to advancing the field
of neuroinformatics. The annual INCF Congress provides a meeting place
for researchers in this emerging field. Neuroinformatics 2011 in
Boston will be the 4th Congress organized by INCF. The program
committee is headed by Mitsuo Kawato (ATR). Keynote speakers include:
• Terry Sejnowski, Salk Institute, UCSD
• Allan Jones, Allen Institute for Brain Science
• Kim “Avrama” Blackwell, George Mason University
• Ed Callaway, Salk Institute
• Shin Ishii, University of Kyoto

• Network principles derived from analysis and databasing of cortical
• Advances in Computational Psychiatry
• Connectome integration across modalities
• Functional reconstruction of neural networks

For more information and to submit an abstract, please visit the
Congress web site at:

We look forward to seeing you!

NIF Data Spotlight: Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC)

Posted on April 4th, 2011 in Data Spotlight, News & Events | 1 Comment »


For a number of reasons, the use of zebrafish in neuroscience research is steadily on the rise. At the Neuroscience Information Framework, we have recognized this trend and have active lines of communication with several zebrafish information providers. The Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC) is the premier source for wild-type, mutant, and transgenic zebrafish strains as well as laboratory methods and husbandry techniques for zebrafish investigations.

NIF enables you to find a mutant zebrafish strain easily using gene specific search techniques. For example, clasp1 is a cytoplasmic linker protein involved in the regulation of microtubule dynamics, particularly in the brain and heart. Animal models with functional changes in clasp1 may be of interest to neuroscientists investigating synaptic changes that occur during LTP or other neurobiological aspects of learning and memory.

To focus our search to genes, we use the following search syntax “gene: clasp1” (shown above). This returns a number of results from across the NIF data federation, including Datasets and Antibodies. Results from ZIRC may be found under Animals > ZIRC: Zebrafish from which you are one click away from purchasing zebrafish and getting your aquatic laboratory up and running. For more information about ZIRC and NIF, please see our detailed tutorial.

The NIF Data Spotlight is a weekly blog post highlighting the databases, information, and resources curated by the Neuroscience Information Framework. For comments, questions or concerns feel free to drop us a line at

NIFarious Ideas: Improving Medical Imaging with Search Technologies

Posted on April 1st, 2011 in News & Events, NIFarious Ideas | No Comments »

A group at Microsoft Research Cambridge has developed a new search tool for the human body. The project, InnerEye, led by Antonio Criminisi, performs automated analysis of CT scans using machine learning algorithms such that normal and abnormal organs (and other anatomy) can be detected and segmented.

Once segmented, InnerEye then uses semantic technologies to improve the physician’s interaction with the patients’ scans. Additionally, InnerEye has implemented features that allow image queries to be performed, as explained by the project lead in the video here: TechFest 2011: InnerEye: Visual Recognition in the Hospital

Hopefully we will be seeing some of these ideas at the doctor’s office soon!


NIFarious Ideas is a regular weekly column on the NIF Blog that appears every Friday. We seek to highlight the avant-garde, the dangerous, the progressive, the cutting edge in software tools, databasing, ontologies, searching, data collecting and distributing, and of course, neuroscience trends. Join us each Friday — Be NIFarious!