In this paper we present mechanisms for imaging and spectral data discovery, as applied to the early detection of pathologic mechanisms underlying diabetic retinopathy in research and clinical trial scenarios. We discuss the Alchemist framework, built using a generic peer-to-peer architecture, supporting distributed database queries and complex search algorithms based on workflow. The Alchemist is a domain-independent search mechanism that can be applied to search and data discovery scenarios in many areas. We illustrate Alchemist's ability to perform complex searches composed as a collection of peer-to-peer overlays, Grid-based services and workflows, e.g. applied to image and spectral data discovery, as applied to the early detection and prevention of retinal disease and investigational drug discovery. The Alchemist framework is built on top of decentralised technologies and uses industry standards such as Web services and SOAP for messaging.
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