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article imageGoogle to offer genome storage facility

By Tim Sandle     Nov 16, 2014 in Science
The Internet search giant Google has added its name to a number of other companies offering cloud computing and genome storage for scientists.
For as little as $25 a year, Google has said that it will store a human genome sequence in its Google Genomics cloud platform. This computing platform is designed to provide researchers with a means to keep, share, and analyze genomic data.
Commenting on this, David Glazer, the Google software engineer who led the effort, told MIT Technology Review: “We saw biologists moving from studying one genome at a time to studying millions. The opportunity is how to apply breakthroughs in data technology to help with this transition.”
The news comes after Google announced that it had joined the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. This is a large consortium of research organizations, to host public genomic data on its cloud platform. According to the Alliance: "The promise of genomic data to revolutionize biology and medicine depends critically on our ability to make comparisons across millions of human genome sequences, but this requires coordination across organizations, methods, diseases, and even countries."
Google's foray into genomic science seems popular. Already, 3,500 genomes have been uploaded to Google’s servers. According to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, the programming interface of Google Genomics “allows users to focus on science rather than tech details such as servers and file formats; store genomic data securely so that private data remains private, while public data is available to the community anywhere; and process as much data as they need, all at once.”
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