Google Inc. under the name of its project “Google Genomics”, has been approaching university labs and hospitals to help them store their clients’ genomes over its cloud services. Google Genomics debuted last March and was left unnoticed because of a number of major announcements this year.
This major effort towards medical advancement allows researchers to access millions of genomes and run batch analyses comparatively easier. According to Technology Review, in raw data, one person’s genome weighs in at around 100 gigabytes. Storing it with Google costs a meagere $25 for a year, and doing computations on that data costs extra. However, once the data is processed, it requires less than a gigabyte of data storage which costs only $0.25 cents per year.
David Glazer, the Google software engineer leading the effort, told that making the act of comparing genomes as easy as possible is becoming increasingly important, because the way researchers study genetics has shifted. People used to study a single genome, but now they’re looking at many at once. With Google Genomics, researchers will get a chance to compare millions of genomes.
Cloud storage is giving a boost to startups like Tute Genomics, Seven Bridges, and NextCode Health. Deniz Kural, CEO of Seven Bridges, which stores genome data on behalf of 1,600 researchers in Amazon’s cloud, said-
Our bird’s eye view is that if I were to get lung cancer in the future, doctors are going to sequence my genome and my tumor’s genome, and then query them against a database of 50 million other genomes.The result will be the drug that will work best.
Already, the National Cancer Institute has signed on. The organisation said it would pay $19 million to upload copies of its 2.6 petabyte (1 petabyte = 1000 terabytes) Cancer Genome Atlas to Google Genomics and Amazon’s data center. And at least 3,500 genomes from public projects can already be found on Google Genomics.