I’m resting up for next week. Plenty of water, exercise, and 8 hours of sleep a night. If I don’t, my brain won’t be ready to process the wealth of important conversations that start Tuesday, April 5—it’s time for Bio-IT World 2016.
I don’t mind admitting that I don’t have deep expertise in genomics. But I do have a passion for learning—and in fact, I’d wager that any successful career in genomics demands a similar passion for keeping up with cutting-edge advancements in the field. Genomics industry events give Quantum an opportunity to connect with both the researchers moving the field forward and the people responsible for making sure the underlying technology is ready to support innovation. That’s why we’re excited Frontline Genomics has launched a relatively new series of events called the Festival of Genomics.
As the promise of genomics starts to pay off in the form of better care and innovative treatment, how will the underlying compute infrastructure that powers bioinformatics—the analysis and interpretation of genomics data—change?
The challenge with data in life sciences today? Managing the sheer volume of it. The first genome took 15 years and 4 billion dollars to sequence. Today’s next-gen sequencers can sequence in days for less than $1,000. More genomes are being sequenced, which means more data is being analyzed—and it all has to be stored somewhere. In fact, Public Library of Science (PLOS) estimates that genomic data could soon surpass YouTube as the biggest generator of data. It’s clear that life sciences teams have their work cut out for them. However, the storage challenge goes beyond managing a flood of data. Teams of scientists often need to work on the same data at the same time, even if collaborators are in a lab half a world away. When these researchers access large genome data sets or high-res medical images, they need fast access. And research takes time—some research studies can last for decades. Data generated during the beginning of the study needs to remain accessible over the lifespan of the entire project. To scientists, it not just data. It’s their life’s work. It’s work that is building a better future.