Helping scientists share imaging data easily and securely

CloudStor is meeting the needs of data-intensive research collaborations by enabling researchers to share imaging data in the fight against human diseases.

Helping scientists share imaging data easily and securely

 

Researchers using the National Imaging Facility’s state-of-the-art imaging capabilities (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT) and many other imaging modalities) to improve our understanding and treatment of human diseases, are among the rapidly rising number of users of AARNet’s CloudStor large file storage for researchers.

For Dr Andrew Janke, NIF Informatics Fellow at the Centre of Advanced Imaging (CAI) NIF node at The University of Queensland, the ability to easily and securely share large datasets between project partners and the other NIF nodes in different locations around the country is crucial.

“We always have trepidations about handing out data on USB sticks,” he says of a major issue CloudStor solves for researchers.

CloudStor has been developed by AARNet to support the file sharing needs of data-intensive research collaborations.

The service provides researchers with a free 100GB data storage allocation and enables researchers to safely share large datasets with collaborators via Australian Access Federation (AAF) credentials, avoiding the need to maintain yet another system for sharing data.

CloudStor storage is located in Australia, and is directly connected to the AARNet backbone at 10Gbps, for rapid and convenient access, and avoiding any sovereignty issues.

Dr Janke says he has used CloudStor for the collaborative analysis on a 60GB+ dataset of MR images of elderly adults participating in the ASPREE-ENVISION clinical trial, and for multiple collaborative mouse, reptile and zebrafish imaging projects.

The ASPREE-ENVISION project is an international collaboration involving partners in the United States and aims to assess whether daily treatment of aspirin prolongs healthy lifespan through the prevention of heart attack, stroke, cognitive decline, physical decline and some cancers such as bowel cancer.

He also used CloudStor to share data with collaborators working on the Australian Mouse Brain Corsortium imaging project, which created a world-first detailed atlas of a mouse brain using the CAI’s powerful MRI scanners and advanced image analysis. This atlas is helping researchers worldwide in the fight against brain disease.

CloudStor has also enabled the NIF to more easily push data to the NeCTAR Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL) project, a remote Desktop environment providing researchers with access to a range of tools stored in the NeCTAR cloud to process their imaging data.  CloudStor can be used to sync files between a researcher’s laptop and their CVL Desktop.

“CloudStor satisfies ethical requirements for the storage of human data via university credentials, whereas the use of other commercial large file storage and transfer services for this data would likely require additional ethics clearance," says Dr Janke.

Image credit: Janke AL, Ullmann J, Kurniawan N, Paxinos G, Keller M, Yang Z, Richards K, Egan G, Petrou S, Galloway G, Reutens D. (2012) 15μm average mouse models in Waxholm space from 16.4T 30μm images. In 20th Annual ISMRM Scientific Meeting and Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.

What our customers are saying

“CloudStor is rapidly becoming a critical part of how we do things here at CAI – one of it’s key advantages is the ability to share, disseminate and collaborate on project data with strict security controls. ”

Dr Andrew Janke, NIF Informatics Fellow, Centre of Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland
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