If you have a family member with autism, you might be able to store your DNA on the Google Cloud. That’s because Google just made a deal with Autism Speaks to assist with the Autism Speaks Ten Thousand Genomes Program (AUT10K), a database of human genomes used for autism research. Google Cloud will store the genomes of 10,000 people with autism and their family members.
On the Google Cloud Platform blog, Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Robert Ring wrote, “In the beginning, we shared genomic information by shipping hard drives around the world. Now, Autism Speaks is using Google Cloud Platform to store its data and enable real-time, collaborative access among researchers around the world.”
Ring says collaboration with Google will only accelerate and improve AUT10K.
“The insight and expertise the Google team has already brought to the table has been unmatched,” Ring wrote. “Researchers will spend less time moving data around and more time analyzing data and collaborating with colleagues. We hope this will enable us to make discoveries and drive innovation faster than ever.”
Many are calling this a huge breakthrough for biological research. CEO and co-founder of Autism Speaks Bob Wright thinks Google’s cooperation is vital.
“This is the only way to break down the data barriers that surround autism,” Wright told USA Today.
In addition to Autism Speaks, Google also collaborates with Calico, a company devoted to researching and slowing the process of aging, and 23andMe, which focuses on genetic testing.
“We are excited … about the opportunity for Google Cloud Platform to help unlock causes and treatments of autism,” David Glazer, engineering director for Google Genomics, said in a statement.