Molecular Medicine Israel

Cloud computing may change the game for the business of DNA-sequencing.

Nature 475, 435-437 (2011).  doi:10.1038/475435a
“Genome giant offers data service”.


China-based DNA-sequencing giant BGI announced that it will take its business to the cloud, harnessing the power of a network of computers to analyze massive quantities of sequence data from clients around the world, reports Nature.

The company is the largest of its kind and boasts an output of some 45 trillion base pair readings, or theDNAequivalent of nearly 15,000 human genomes, per year. This is a long way from the first sequenced human genome, which took 14 years and the efforts of researchers and institutions around the globe to complete.


By moving its sequence data to the cloud, BGI hopes to corner the market as a one-stop-shop not only forDNAsequencing but also analysis—called bioinformatics. Most other companies currently offer just one service or the other.

DNA and Chips

Not only are sequencers too expensive for most labs, the cost of hard disk storage space remains so high that it is often cheaper to store the data elsewhere. Cloud computing provides vast storage space and allows high-speed analysis that is impossible or cost-prohibitive to individual labs. “The cloud is going to be central in the entire world of DNAsequencing,” Cliff Reid, chief executive of competitor Complete Genomics, told Nature.



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