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AARNet is helping Australian researchers fast-track health and medical breakthroughs by providing fast and secure network connectivity to genome sequences of thousands of organisms.
The AARNet network underpins activities associated with Australia’s associate membership to the renowned European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Europe’s flagship for the life sciences. EMBL is home to a vast and rapidly expanding database of genome sequences of thousands of organisms, unlocking new opportunities for researchers to solve a wide range of problems.
Scientists across Australia are now able to quickly access these data, EMBL tools and resources, via AARNet infrastructure. They then contribute to international collaborations at the cutting edge of many areas of life sciences research, including cell biology, stem cells and regenerative medicine, chemical biology, plant biology, genetic epidemiology and clinical research.
The reliable, high-bandwidth research network connectivity that AARNet provides also helps the associated EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource seamlessly share terabytes of biological data generated from experiments locally, both with the Australia life science research community and with the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute in the United Kingdom.
AARNet interconnects universities and research institutes participating in EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network nodes hosted at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute and Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University, Single Molecule Science Initiative at University of New South Wales and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
During 2016, a EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory at SAHMRI collaborated with colleagues in Finland to investigate the molecular risk factors for diabetic kidney disease, and its effects on heart disease and life span in Type I diabetics.
Another EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory based at the the Single Molecule Science Initiative at University of New South Wales uncovered that nanoparticles shaped like rods and worms are more effective at moving to the centre of a cell. This discovery, published in Nature Nanotechnology (12 September 2016), could impact the design of drug delivery vehicles and revolutionise the treatment of cancer as these ultra-tiny particles could potentially carry drugs to where they are needed and help attack and kill cancer cells.
High-speed connectivity across AARNet’s national and international network plays a critical role in connecting life sciences researchers and data in Australia to EMBL data, resources and colleagues located in Europe.