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Google strikes deal with Autism Speaks, will store genome data in cloud

The total human genome consists of more than 3 billion base pairs, which -- as one might imagine -- takes of a lot space on a computer hard drive.
By Brooks Hays   |   June 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) --Google has agreed to store the sequencing of 10,000 complete human genomes as needed for ongoing autism research.

The internet giant is expected to announced the partnership with Autism Speaks, one the nation's largest autism research foundations, on Tuesday -- according to an early scoop by the Wall Street Journal.

Advocates hope the cooperation can spur further, faster research into the causes of and potential cure for the increasingly common developmental disorder.

David Glazer, Google's engineering director, told the Wall Street Journal that the company will use its cloud technology to store genome data and help Autism Speaks and others researchers get results "better, faster and cheaper."

The total human genome consists of more than 3 billion base pairs, which -- as one might imagine -- takes up a lot space on a computer hard drive. The average genome, in digital form, takes up about 100 gigabytes of storage, which means roughly 10 fit on a desktop computer.

Storing them in the cloud will save time and computer space, enabling researchers to maximize resources -- and hopefully to work more effectively towards an answer to many mysteries of autism.

Technology has previously helped caretakers and educators engage with autistic children and young adults. Now, it will try to make it easier for researchers to engage with vast amounts of data.

Topics: Google
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