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Genomics: Bringing Big Data into the Picture

Published By : IndustryARC | Published On : 2016-04-19
In case you’re wondering, the world of Healthcare is changing dramatically. We are moving towards 3D printed organs, Electronic Health Records, Medical Outsourcing and Genomics. Genomics is moving forward leaps and bounds with the promise of successfully executing gene sequencing for the entire ecosystem. Consider this, if we were to perform gene sequencing for every organism, we would generate 50 billion tons of DNA.  The entire world will be covered under the blanket of genomics. It definitely sounds like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, but researchers across the globe are working on making it a reality. Countries across the globe are working on Genome projects. Iceland, for example has successfully completed gene sequencing of one-third of its population. Kuwait has initiated DNA testing as a part of its anti-terrorism strategy.

While we talk about the magnitude of genomics, we need to consider the amount of data it will generate. According to research conducted by Stephan et al, genomics is one of the most demanding domains in terms of big data. The rate at which Genomics has grown during the last decade is nothing short of astonishing. By 2025, researchers and scientists would be able to crack 2 billion genomic sequences representing a five-fold growth. Add to it, the single-genome sequencing technique is gaining traction especially for treatment of cancer. The data storage requirement for the data generated is even bigger. For 2 billion genomic sequences, we shall require 40 exabytes of data storage. The focal issue for Genomics is the distribution of genomic data. There is a need to accumulate data through cloud computing. By 2025, the data analysis would require 100,000 computers running together processing 2 genomes per hour. That means 50-100 trillion genome sequences which will require enormous processing power.

The concept of genomics has arrived and it’s going to change the way we look at the world in an incredible manner. The dream of bringing together Genomics and Big data can only be realized by bringing together several technologies together. The day is not far, when humans will be recognized by their DNA.

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