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‘Thunder’ helps neuroscientists analyze ‘big data’

Jonathan Marker | Science Recorder | July 28, 2014

‘Thunder’ helps neuroscientists analyze ‘big data’

Thunder can operate on a private cluster or on Amazon’s cloud computing services.

According to a report from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), new technologies for monitoring brain activity are generating unparalleled quantities of information. That data could offer new insights into how the brain works, but only if researchers can interpret it.

To help organize the data, neuroscientists can now harness the power of distributed computing using “Thunder,” a library of tools developed at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus.  According to the Freeman Lab, Thunder is a library for analyzing large-scale neural data. It’s fast to run, easy to develop for, and can be used interactively.  It is built on Spark, a new framework for cluster computing.

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