The Cape Floral Kingdom is both the world’s smallest botanical kingdom in area, and the biggest in terms of total number of species – but it is also one of the world’s most threatened floral kingdom’s because of urban development, agriculture, and climate change. Known locally by its colloquial name, fynbos (literally “fine bush”) it constantly yields new scientific finds. Now the University of Cape Town, one of the four universities situated at the heart of the floral kingdom, is using big data and high tech to unlock more fynbos secrets, as UCT’s communications department reports:
The Computational Biology Division (CBIO) at UCT performs bioinformatics research, teaching and services. To date we have provided bioinformatics support but with limited availability of staff. However, we now have additional dedicated bioinformatics support staff based within the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) and the Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative (CIDRI Africa Centre).