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Generating research data is easier than ever before, but interpreting and analyzing it is still hard, and getting harder as the volume increases. This is especially true of genomics. Sequencing the whole genome of a single person produces more than 100 gigabytes of raw data, and a million genomes will add up to more than 100 petabytes. In 2003, the Human Genome Project (http://goo.gl/rDUSr7) completed after 15 years and $3 billion. Today, it takes closer to one day and $1,000 to sequence a human genome.
This abundance of new information carries great potential for research and human health -- and requires new standards, policies and technology. That’s why Google has joined the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (http://goo.gl/jsjtbV). The Alliance is an international effort to develop harmonized approaches to enable responsible, secure, and effective sharing of genomic and clinical information in the cloud with the research and healthcare communities, meeting the highest standards of ethics and privacy. Members of the Global Alliance include leading technology, healthcare, research, and disease advocacy organizations from around the world.
We are honored to be part of the community, working together to refine the technology and evolve the ecosystem, and aligning with appropriate standards as they arise. To learn more, visit the Google Research Blog linked below.
This theory posits that thermodynamics is the guiding force behind life and evolution. It will be interesting to see how this idea mutates and the patterns it may distill.
Whatever happens, I like where the ideas are headed.
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