There’s a saying in the scientific community: all biology is computational biology. In other words, when you’re dealing with whole genomes, or datasets compiled from thousands of records containing thousands more biomarkers, you need serious computational power – and techniques – to get the most out of the data. Now, cloud platforms built for biomedical research are providing the power that these projects need.
Three years ago, Verily, the life sciences arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet, along with MIT and Harvard’s biomedical and genomic research center the Broad Institute, set up Terra, an open-source cloud research platform for storing and analysing biomedical data.
The platform’s creation, says Anthony Philippakis, chief data officer at the Broad Institute, was driven by two trends within the wider biomedical space: an explosion in the volume and types of data available