The LifeWatchGreece Research Infrastructure was funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology, coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture and includes 47 associated partner institutions. LifeWatchGreece fulfils the vision to establish the biodiversity Centre of Excellence for south-eastern Europe, by linking all the Greek scientific human potential working on biodiversity data and data observatories. The LifeWatchGreece RI has developed a series of e-Services and virtual Laboratories (vLabs) aiming to support the mobilisation, analysis and sharing of biodiversity datasets, not only for the scientific community, but also for the broader domain of biodiversity management and policy.
Micro-CT virtual laboratory (Micro-CTvlab )
The micro-CT virtual laboratory (Micro-CTvlab) supported by the ESFRI LifeWatchGreece infrastructure, offers a collection of virtual image galleries of various biological materials which can be displayed and disseminated through a web-based framework. This virtual lab allows the user to manipulate the 3D models through a series of online tools or to download the datasets for local manipulations. The in-house – at present – collection includes specimens of 3D scans representing a range of organisms and taxa, such as Polychaetes, Crustacea, Echinoderms and Molluscs.The data and functions of the Micro-CTvlab can be accessed either on a normal computer or through a dedicated version for mobile devices.
R is a statistical processing environment widely used by scientists working on biodiversity-related disciplines, but a problem commonly faced by users is the heavy computational power required. The R vLab supports an integrated and optimised online R environment and allows a set of functions (e.g. metaMDS, vegdist, anosim, permutations, biodiversity indices, etc) to run on clusters or grids, in order to support large-scale computational and modelling activities to run in parallel and simultaneously by multiple clients.
The Mediterranean Ocean Biogeographic Information System (MedOBIS) is a web-based provider of geo-referenced information on accurately identified marine species of the Mediterranean Sea. The MedOBIS vLab aims to integrate biological, physical, and chemical oceanographic data from multiple sources and to offer users (researchers, students, and environmental managers) with a dynamic view of the multi-dimensional Mediterranean marine world, including a variety of spatial data products for visualizing relationships among species and their environment. The MedOBIS vLab provides reliable and quality controlled marine species datasets, metadata and satellite data from all over the Mediterranean Sea.
BIOIMAGING virtual laboratory
The BIOIMAGING virtual lab (under development) was created during BioImaging-GR in order to display and disseminate virtual galleries of various medical and biological materials. This virtual lab offers to the user a collection of images generated by several imaging technologies (e.g. electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy etc.). Furthermore, the BIOIMAGING virtual lab is linked with the Micro-CTvlab in which 3D virtual samples are presented and can be interactively displayed and retrieved through a web-based application. The BIOIMAGING virtual lab is also linked with the AQUAPATHvlab which is a virtual fish pathology laboratory supported by the MOUNT (MOdern UNifying Trends in marine biology) project, and it offers a collection of several imaging techniques, including microtomography, histology, SEM, TEM that can be used for disease diagnostics.
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