Scientific research often benefits from open innovation. While there are many examples, I am particularly excited to see what happens in the area of cancer genomics. The Genome Center at Washington University published the results of sequencing the first cancer genome back in November 2008. Internally, there was collaboration between departments in the School of Medicine resulting in innovative analyses and leading to more discoveries. Since then I’ve read and heard about a number of similar or follow up projects at varioius institutions. As data is shared amongst researchers across the world, new collaborations will be formed. The innovations resulting from these collaborations will hopefully result in better treatments for cancer.
Archive for February, 2009
We at The Genome Center at Washington University were happy to get official word that we will be adding an additional 21 Illumina Genome Analyzers to our portfolio of sequencing technology. That enables us to sequence enough DNA to be equivalent to an entire human genome per day (at 25x coverage). There is a lot of excitement about the potential such capacity brings. The Genome Center’s director had this to say:
“Our intention to substantially scale-up with this technology reflects our commitment to large-scale sequencing projects that aim to uncover the underlying genetic basis of various human diseases. With the rapid decline in the cost of whole-genome sequencing, we believe now is the time to embark on initiatives which were previously not possible,” said Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics and Director of the Genome Center at Washington University. “We are confident that we can further reduce the cost and accelerate the rate of human genome sequencing.”
A scale up of sequencing capacity brings a scale up in IT capacity. We’ll be watching our internal network, disk and HPC resources and scaling as appropriate. It will be likely that these sequencers alone will generate upwards of 20 TB of data per day, which needs further processing on The Genome Center’s computational resources. I’m excited about the possibilities that this scale up will bring!