Page 3386 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman, could you hang on for a second. You have got an interruption.

Ms Burch: Mr Assistant Speaker, given that I have been warned—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Have you got a point of order on Mr Gentleman?

Ms Burch: No, I am just bringing to your attention the interjections from that side of the room. I just wanted to bring it to your attention, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Ms Burch. Gentlemen, let us just cut it down a little bit. Let us give Mr Gentleman an opportunity to continue. Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Some of the other work that NICTA does that is also under threat is on capabilities in health. Some of the key themes there are bioinformatics, medical devices, biomedical informatics, bio-imaging technology systems and biology—all threatened should this funding be taken away. These themes reflect the global biological revolution currently taking place, popularly referred to as the “new biology”. This discipline transformation is well articulated in A New Biology for the 21st Century.

In bioinformatics, NICTA develop the foundations and practical techniques for filtering information from the large volumes of data produced by emerging high-throughput biomedical technologies, in particular high throughput sequencing technologies, often referred to as next generation sequencing, but also a range of other, more cost-effective technologies. Their aim is to develop information technology which uses molecular biology data from the improvement of health. So you can see there that the work they are doing that is under threat is really key in our ehealth systems and support for our medical systems in the ACT.

Some of the other work they do in biomedical informatics is developing techniques to provide easier and faster access to valuable information buried in biomedical texts, saving time and cost for biomedical researchers and clinicians, and potentially enabling new insights and discoveries. With so much health data now being collected and stored electronically, there are huge opportunities to provide new innovations to health care via biomedical informatics research. The biomedical informatics team at NICTA is developing strategies for knowledge-based analysis of biometric data. The knowledge-based methods take advantage of background information available in relevant databases, structured resources such as ontologies and in textual sources, such as the published literature on clinical records, to provide context for the interpretation and understanding of biomedical data.

Their research, which is under threat, is both direct analysis of biomedical textual data sources, to provide easier and faster access to the valuable information buried in those texts, and the use of that information in analysis and modelling of non-textual biomedical data. They take advantage of a variety of underlying technologies, including clustering, pattern recognition, natural language processing and general data

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