Global Alliance Teams Up with Google

The international Global Alliance for Genomics and Health will be using a programming interface developed by the Internet giant to help its stakeholders analyze genomic data.

By | March 10, 2014

ISTOCK, ALENGOThe international collaboration aimed at sharing vast amounts of genetic and clinical information announced last year is gearing up to establish technical, ethical, and legal standards to ensure robust and secure information exchange. The so-called Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, which met earlier this month (March 4) in London, will be using Google Genomics to help its stakeholders analyze genomic data. Google intends to develop a “simple web-based API to import, process, store, and search genomic data at scale,” the company announced last month (February 27) in a post on its Research Blog.

In an interview with Nature, Global Alliance steering committee member David Altshuler of the Broad Institute said that during the last eight months, the group has “gone from a concept to having 151 partners,” including researchers from academic medical centers, information science firms, and disease advocacy organizations, among others.

“Many engaged in the clinical uptake of genomics want better information to help interpret variants for their patients, and most of all . . . they want to maximize the public benefit of genomics,” Altshuler told Nature.

Editor's Note (March 13): This story has been updated to reflect that the Global Alliance will not itself be analyzing genomic data. Rather, the group will be working with partners, including Google, to help its stakeholders do so.

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