Google is well known for its huge servers and capability to index huge volumes of data – and an autism group is leveraging on this capability to enlist the services of Google on its human genome sequencing project for autism patients. Google will be partnering with this autism advocacy group, Autism Speaks, to investigate autism and issues related to the condition.
Autism researchers are studying the genetics of autism patients, and they plan to sequence the genomes of about 10,000 autistic individuals and their relatives – and since a human genome can accommodate 100 GB of digital space, the autism genetic researchers are relying on Google’s Genomics tool to host the vast human genomics information on its servers, which also have the ability to index information for quick retrievals as happen with searching for information on the internet.
“We realized that some of our biggest biology problems were really big data problems,” says a top scientist with advocacy group Autism Speaks. “We believe that the clues to understanding autism lie in that genome. We’d like to leverage the same kind of technology and approach to searching the Internet every day to search into the genome for these missing answers.”
With Google’s digital indexing abilities, researchers will be able to search and track down any sections of any particular genomes they desire, and also examine critically aspects with certain individuals have similarities or variations.
It is expected that Google’s partnership with Autism Speaks would provide “an open resource for scientists worldwide to access and share autism research,” and this is already regarded and handled as Google’s Next Big Project.