Huge data­base on hu­man ge­netic vari­a­tion opens to public

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Re­searchers world­wide now have public ac­cess to an enor­mous data­base of in­for­ma­tion on hu­man ge­netic vari­a­tion, of­fi­cials from the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health and a public-pri­vate re­search col­lab­o­ra­tion an­nounced. The data­base was pro­duced by the 1000 Genomes Project, an in­ter­na­tional re­search con­sor­tium started in 2008 and sup­ported by the NIH’S Na­tional Hu­man Genome Re­search In­sti­tute, the Na­tional Cen­ter for Biotech­nol­ogy In­for­ma­tion, and nu­mer­ous not-for-profit in­sti­tutes and ge­netic-re­search com­pa­nies. It rep­re­sents the “world’s largest set of data on hu­man ge­netic vari­a­tion,” ac­cord­ing to an NIH news re­lease. The 200-ter­abyte data set— equiv­a­lent to 30,000 Dvds—is now pub­licly avail­able on the Ama­zon Web Ser­vices cloud and at 1000genomes.org. “Now we want to find new and bet­ter ways to make the most of these data to speed dis­cov­ery, in­no­va­tion and im­prove­ments in the na­tion’s health and econ­omy,” NIH Di­rec­tor Dr. Fran­cis Collins said in the re­lease. The an­nounce­ment was made at an event hosted by the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Sci­ence in Washington. At the same event, the White House Of­fice of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Pol­icy an­nounced the launch of the public-pri­vate Big Data Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive, which will com­mit more than $200 mil­lion and the re­sources of at least six fed­eral agen­cies, in­clud­ing the NIH, to de­velop tech­nolo­gies needed to an­a­lyze large data sets.

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