Glossary

AAI (Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure)
A way to centrally control access to online resources. Instead of having a username and password for each resource, you have one username and password that you can use to access all resources. ELIXIR has its own AAI, through which you can access ELIXIR resources that need access control. See the ELIXIR AAI page.
Bioinformatics
The collection, storage, and analysis of biological data using computers. It is an interdisciplinary subject and involves knowledge of programming, database design and statistics as well as biology. Bioinformatics techniques are often used to analyse genomes and proteomes, and to create three-dimensional models of biomolecules.
Cloud computing
An online pool of shared computing resources where you can access and store data and use programs (Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365 are examples of cloud services). Unlike owning your own hardware, you can quickly adjust cloud services to your needs and only pay for what you use.
CORBEL
CORBEL stands for 'Coordinated Research Infrastructures Building Enduring Life-science Services'. It is a project that aims to align and coordinate the work of the European biomedical research infrastructures. See the CORBEL website.
EXCELERATE
A major project funded by the European Commission. It runs 2015-18 and funds many of ELIXIR’s activities, including its Platforms and Use Cases. See the EXCELERATE page.
Gene
A locus (or region) of DNA that is responsible for creating a particular protein or a particular function. Genes carry the information that determines traits like eye colour, and are the basic units of hereditary. Humans have around 25,000 genes.
Genome
The genetic material of an organism, which consists of DNA (or RNA in RNA viruses). It contains all of an organism’s genes, and is present in every cell that has a nucleus. Each genome contains the information needed to build that organism and allow it to grow and develop.  
Genomics
Genomics is a discipline within genetics that concerns the sequencing and analysis of an organism's genome.
Grid
In computing, a grid is a collection of computers that is owned by multiple organisations in different locations and connected together so that users can share the combined power of the resources. It differs from cloud because cloud resources are usually run by one organisation.
Hadoop
An open source programming framework that helps you process and store huge data sets in a distributed computing environment (like a grid). Hadoop services let you access, store and process data, and help you manage data governance and security.
HPC cluster
High Performance Computing (HPC) is a technique that uses multiple computers to perform a task. HPC clusters divide up tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and run these concurrently across multiple computers. This allows researchers to run large, complex analyses of data that are too big for a single machine to cope with.
Hub
The ELIXIR Hub coordinates and supports the services run by the ELIXIR Nodes and has overall responsibility for developing and delivering the ELIXIR Scientific Programme. It is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK. See Who we are.
Implementation study
ELIXIR projects that have a relatively narrow focus and short term duration (one or two years). They are funded through the budget of the ELIXIR Hub and are used to connect ELIXIR Nodes. See Implementation Studies.
Member/Member State
A country in ELIXIR that has signed the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement (see How countries join). It can also mean an institution that is part of ELIXIR e.g. the University of Manchester is part of ELIXIR UK, and so is a ‘member’ of ELIXIR.
Metagenomics
The study of genetic material sampled directly from the environment (rather than cultured in a laboratory). In marine metagenomics, for example, the genetic material studied is taken from samples of seawater taken directly from the sea.
Node
An institution within a country that runs that country’s ELIXIR services e.g. the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL) oversees the work of ELIXIR Netherlands. It is the Dutch Node. See How countries join.
Observer
In ELIXIR, and Observer is a country that has not yet signed the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement (ECA), which all members have signed. It may be that the country is still working towards signing it. See How countries join.
Platform
A group of scientists who coordinate ELIXIR’s activities in a particular area. There are five Platforms or areas of work within ELIXIR (Data, Tools, Interoperability, Compute and Training). See Platforms.
Proteome
The proteins found in an organism over its entire life cycle, or in a particular cell type at a particular time under defined environmental conditions.
Proteomics
The study of the proteins of a particular cell, tissue or organism. Proteomics studies often produce inventories of the protein structures produced by the same tissue under different conditions.
Research infrastructure
A network of facilities, databases and services used by the science community to conduct research. By combining these resources then the research becomes more effective because data and expertise can be pooled.
Sequencing
The process of discovering the order of nucelotides in DNA or RNA, or the order of amino acids in a protein. There are four types of nucleotides in DNA. Each gene is made up of a sequence of nucleotides.
Supercomputer
A computer that has more computational capacity than a general-purpose computer. Supercomputers split large tasks into smaller tasks and work on all the sub-tasks at once (parallel processing). Grids and HPC clusters are examples of supercomputers.
Use Case
Within ELIXIR, these are collaborations between ELIXIR and life scientists in a particular domain (e.g. rare disease). They give feedback on the services developed by ELIXIR Platforms and ensure that the services match the scientists’ needs. See Use Cases.
Work Package (WP)
A group of related tasks within a project. In the EXCELERATE project there are 13 Work Packages, which operate within the Platforms e.g. EXCELERATE WP1 has the task of creating a registry of software tools for bioinformatics, and it works within the Tools Platform. See EXCELERATE.