According to The Australian Financial Review, Sydney-based biomedical researchers at the Garvan Institute will kickstart an ambitious plan to create a genetic index including summary data of 5000 aggregated human genomes to help the global hunt for cures to diseases, after receiving a grant from Microsoft to crunch the data on its Azure cloud infrastructure.
The index will require enormous amounts of computing power, and the Garvan Institute hopes it will make a major contribution to ongoing international efforts, such as the hunt for cancer treatments, by making the resource accessible to the worldwide genomics community.
Chief of informatics at the Garvan Institute Warren Kaplan said there had been extraordinary advances in the technology of DNA sequencing during the past 10 years, meaning the different genomes could now be split into groups, in order to run hugely complex queries to try to pinpoint the causes of different abnormalities or diseases.
When the sequencing of the first human genome was completed in 2003 it was the result of a 10-year project that cost around $3 billion, but Dr Kaplan said it was now possible for the Garvan Institute to sequence 50 genomes a day at a cost of $1000 apiece.
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