CyVerse Cyberinfrastructure Changed the Way Researcher Does Science
Fabrizio Costa, an Associate Professor in the department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology at the University of Trento, Italy, studies the gene expression of fruit crops during the ripening process to better understand the physiological mechanism under the quality of fruit. His research involves extensive data analysis, which created a need for cloud-based cyberinfrastructure. He became aware of CyVerse six years ago, and the rest is history. Costa recalled, "CyVerse changed the way I do science."
He first became aware of CyVerse at a 2017 presentation by Christos Noutsos, an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at SUNY Old Westbury. The talk centered on cloud-based cyberinfrastructure and an organization called iPlant, which Costa later learned was the original name of CyVerse. Intrigued by the presentation, Costa got in contact with Noutsos and discovered CyVerse.
Costa's research focuses on the agriculture of fruit crops, primarily apples and pears, and the analysis of differential gene expression of fruit samples at various points in the ripening process. Costa said, "To do this research, one of the most important things is to identify the gene expression modulations over different time points and between varieties and to observe how the fruit corresponds to the treatment of several compounds that can interfere with ripening. The identification of these genes is a key strategy in this research, and all this analysis has been made possible by the use of CyVerse."
As Costa began to utilize CyVerse to analyze his data, he found the process straightforward and was pleased with the support he received when he had questions. He said, "If you try to do this sort of data analysis on your own, without CyVerse, it requires computer skills such as coding as well as a large server. Since this data generates huge files, it is almost impossible to run large experiments on a normal laptop. The cloud infrastructure of CyVerse was fantastic and freed up the use of my laptop. It was not complicated to use, and the customer service and support are also very helpful if you have questions."
Costa noted that he would recommend CyVerse to anyone working with data analysis. "After trying CyVerse, I never explored alternative systems, as I was so satisfied with everything they provide." He added that his success inspired those he works with to use CyVerse for their research. "At this point," he said, "all my students and colleagues are also using CyVerse."