Google Dives Into Genomics Research
Google makes a commitment to help with genomics research by joining the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.Google is expanding its involvement in medical science around the world by joining the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health as part of an effort to expand and advance genomics research that could keep humans healthier. Google's new membership in the group, which was formed in 2013, was announced by Jonathan Bingham, a Google product manager, in a Feb. 27 post on the Google Research Blog. "Generating research data is easier than ever before, but interpreting and analyzing it is still hard, and getting harder as the volume increases," wrote Bingham. "This is especially true of genomics. Sequencing the whole genome of a single person produces more than 100 gigabytes of raw data, and a million genomes will add up to more than 100 petabytes. In 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed after 15 years and $3 billion. Today, it takes closer to one day and $1,000 to sequence a human genome." All of this information "carries great potential for research and human health—and requires new standards, policies and technology," he wrote. "That's why Google has joined the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. The Alliance is an international effort to develop harmonized approaches to enable responsible, secure, and effective sharing of genomic and clinical information in the cloud with the research and health care communities, meeting the highest standards of ethics and privacy."
Some 146 organizations from some 21 countries around the world are members of the group so far, including Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, California Institute of Technology, Canada Health Infoway, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Genome Institute of Singapore, Harvard University, Indian Society of Human Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance, New York Genome Center, Osaka University, Graduate School of Medicine, SIB-Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Spanish Institute of Bioinformatics, Spanish National Cancer Research Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Stanford University, University of California Health System and the University of Cape Town.