Laboratory conferences postponed due to COVID-19

Two European laboratory conferences have been postponed this month due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. In a statement released on the Analytica website, conference organisers state: ‘Due to the increasing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe and on the basis of the recommendations of the Bavarian State Government as well as of the responsible health authorities, Messe München feels compelled to postpone Analytica 2020.’ ‘Under the given circumstances,

opening Analytica in late March would not be justifiable towards our customers, in particular from a medical and economic perspective,’ commented Reinhard Pfeiffer, deputy chairman of the board of management of Messe München and responsible for Analytica. The Paperless Lab Academy

(PLA2020) has also been postponed. In a press release, organisers reported that: ‘We have been monitoring and evaluating the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and we also have received various communications that several companies, both sponsors and participants, do not allow their representatives to travel, especially in the region of north Italy. ‘These restrictions have been

already extended for the next weeks in some cases. There are restrictions on flights from various European and non-European countries to this area of Italy and some governments have introduced restrictive measures for their citizens to this destination.’ Both events are being scheduled

for later in 2020; Analytica is scheduled for 19 to 22 October while PLA2020 is planned to be held on 3-4 June. ‘Postponing it to the new date

in fall is the measure necessary to offer manufacturers and visitors an optimal platform for their business, and to build on Analytica’s previous success,’ added Siegbert Holtermüller, chairman of the Exhibitors’ Advisory Board of Analytica.

28 Scientific Computing World Spring 2020

New journal focuses on discoveries in plant science

An open-access journal from Cambridge University Press will provide an interdisciplinary forum for high-quality research on discoveries and predictions in plant science. Quantitative Plant Biology is co-owned

by the John Innes Centre, a research institute that specialises in plant genetics and crop improvement. It will provide a dedicated home for

research that applies techniques such as data mining and analysis, mathematical modelling and machine-learning to plant biology. The Press’s STM publishing director,

Caroline Black, said: ‘The discipline of quantitative plant biology has grown substantially in the past 10 years. With recent developments in quantitative live imaging, biophysics, bioinformatics, and computational science, plants are increasingly viewed as integrated, dynamic and multiscale systems. The journal will welcome research from

across the spectrum of fundamental, applied and societal plant research; across all biological scales, from molecular through cellular and organismal to populations; and be based on data from laboratories, fieldwork and citizen science. Quantitative Plant Biology’s Editor-

in-Chief, Dr Olivier Hamant, research director of the Plant Reproduction and Development Laboratory at ENS-Lyon stated: ‘The way science operates is likely to change quite dramatically in the coming decades, with more and more data coming from the field, even collected by non- scientists.’ ‘We will need new ways to deal with such massive and diverse data, and this


ISC High Performance announces keynotes

The ISC High Performance organisers have announced the Tuesday and Wednesday keynotes at this year’s event. The ISC conference and exhibition is currently scheduled take place from 21 to 25 June at Messe Frankfurt. The June 23 keynote titled Quantum Computing: From Academic Research to Real- World Applications, will be presented by Mattias Troyer, distinguished scientist at Microsoft and

vice president of the Aspen Center for Physics, in which he will offer a glimpse into the inner workings of quantum computers. These systems promise to expand the

horizons of HPC, providing solutions to otherwise intractable problems in molecular behaviour, material design, and cryptography, to name a few. During his keynote, Troyer will describe

the hardware and software architectures of quantum computers systems and discuss how they differ from classical HPC systems. A key element of his discussion will involve dispelling some of the hype surrounding this technology

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will question the way we do science in the labs. Quantitative Plant Biology should set the stage for this upcoming scientific revolution,’ added Hamant. ‘There is already a growing community in plant science that puts a lot of effort into quantitative plant science and Quantitative Plant Biology is in line with this momentum. It will set a new standard for the plant community, and provide solid ground for interdisciplinary dialogue, setting the pace of plant biology in the 21st century.’ Alongside traditional research

articles, the journal will also publish two new sections in line with its focus on quantitative research. ‘Theories’ will be speculative and thought-provoking articles that use meta- analysis of publicly available data to find overarching trends and question existing beliefs. There will also be citizen science articles,

drawing on large datasets from non- scientists and co-written with scientists in a way that is easily understood by a lay audience. Professor Dale Sanders, FRS, director of the John Innes Centre said: ‘We are delighted to be promoting quantitative, reproducible, open plant science through this partnership. Plant biology is becoming increasingly data-rich, building the foundation for predictive, mechanistic understanding across scales, from the molecular level to the field. ‘We hope that Quantitative Plant Biology will act as a focal point for this growing community to exchange their latest breakthroughs, ideas, hypotheses, data and code and play a key role in helping drive the field forward.’

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