Ben Langmead, PhD, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
Highly Scalable Software for Analyzing Large Collections of RNA Sequencing Data: We are developing a radically scalable software tool, Rail-RNA, for analysis of large RNA sequencing datasets. Rail-RNA will make it easy for researchers to re-analyze published RNA-seq datasets. It will be designed to analyze many datasets at once, applying an identical analysis method to each so that results are comparable. This enables researchers to perform several critical scientific tasks that are currently difficult, including (a) reproducing results from previous large RNA-seq studies, (b) comparing datasets while avoiding bioinformatic variability, (c) studying systematic biases and other effects (e.g lab and batch effects) that can confound conclusions when disparate datasets are combined.