Autism Speaks and Google are teaming up to use the ‘Google Cloud Platform’ to create a library of 10,000 genomes of people with autism and their families members. The Autism Speaks Ten Thousand Genomes Program (AUT10K) will create a database of 10,000 genomes, which will use the Google Cloud for ‘storage, processing, and exploration.’ Very exciting indeed!
The collaboration promises to advance breakthroughs in the understanding, diagnosis, subtyping and personalized treatment of autism, says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Rob Ring. “The AUT10K program holds the potential to radically transform our understanding of autism and redefine the future of medical care for those affected by the disorder,” he explains. “Working with Google is a game-changer in this story.”
However, the vastly larger amount of data collected by AUT10K creates unique challenges for storage, analysis and remote access. Previously, the transport of genomic information involved physically shipping hard drives. Downloading even one individual’s whole genome in a conventional manner could take hours, the equivalent of downloading a hundred feature films.
The cutting-edge capabilities of the Google Cloud can overcome these limits, Dr. Ring says. “Connecting biological discoveries with the best in large-scale cloud storage and computation will advance not only autism research but the entire field of genomic medicine,” he says.