A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore strengthens its genome sequencing capabilities through collaboration with BT

Date: Fri, 12/19/2014 - 20:15

Research institutes that deal in genomic technology require large computing and data resources. Those with inadequate computing technologies often face scalability issues, which slow research in new genome sequencing techniques and technologies
A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore strengthens its genome sequencing capabilities through collaboration with BT

Kevin Taylor, president of BT in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA)

Image credited to BT

A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) has empowered its existing genomic analysis capabilities through collaboration with BT Group (BT) to create a cloud-based Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) environment. The advantages of NGS are the reduced time it takes for GIS to develop Next-Generation-Sequencing analytical software and to make it available to a wider reach of research communities and external parties.
GIS Executive Director Dr Ng Huck Hui said: “This collaboration with BT is in line with our goal to integrate technology, genetics and biology in order to make a positive impact on society. Through this collaboration, we will be able to expedite our research into commercial and eventually clinical applications to analyse complex Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS) data, and enhance the development of algorithms to analyse disease etiologies.”
BT will supply GIS with access to the BT Cloud Compute infrastructure built on the BT for Life Sciences platform. GIS’ compute-intense workloads will be transferred into the cloud and tested, allowing its performance to be enhanced.
Kevin Taylor, president of BT in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), said: “The development of therapies often involves ‘peaky demands’ for large amounts of compute power and this has been a major challenge to the life sciences industry. BT for Life Sciences provides secure cloud-based technology options that reduce the time taken to assemble the necessary computing platform, and then make the applications run in a much shorter time. This creative combination of technology helps the life science sector realise the benefits in the cloud. It aligns completely with GIS’ vision of using science as a means to achieve greater gains in human health. Through this partnership, we will help GIS deliver outcomes that will benefit society as a whole.”
GIS’ Chief Scientific Computing Officer Dr Fu Zhiyan said: “At the GIS, we have developed computer production pipelines to analyse NGS data and run them on in-house IT infrastructures. The new cloud computing technology will extend our in-house infrastructure to support surges in computational demand. It can also deliver GIS’ algorithms to researchers worldwide and enrich the institute’s contributions to global research collaborations.”
The computational laboratories at GIS develop algorithms that give scientists the ability to identify important signals in genomics data. With the use of different algorithms, a scientist can obtain more accurate and precise information important for study such as in cancer research.
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