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Hitachi to compress genome sequencing data

Anuradha Shukla | May 31, 2012
Partners with Singapore's A*STAR research institute to study optimising of genome sequencing data.

Hitachi Asia is creating a data compression technique to handle the increasing volume of genome sequencing data generated by the healthcare and biomedical industry.

The company has partnered with Data Storage Institute (DSI), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to this end.

Hitachi and DSI researchers already share a partnership and both have previously collaborated to discover the pattern of typical genome data transactions that enable current storage systems to function in an optimal manner.

"We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with DSI in the research field of networked storage," said Makoto Nagashima, managing director of Hitachi Asia.

" As the industry leader in storage technology and bioinformatics software solutions, I am confident that the outcome of this collaboration will lead to more innovative solutions that could potentially  be one of  Hitachi's future areas of business expansion."

Challenges for data centres

The use of genetic analysing tool is becoming more widespread and significant increase in the velocity, volume and variety of genome data being created is expected in the future.

This may present significant challenges for data centres to provide high performance storage systems and fast retrieval of large genomic data files.

Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), another A*STAR research institute thus commissioned DSI researchers to study how genome sequencing data is optimised in an effective manner.

Research shows that present data compression methods are not adequate to manage current workloads due to inefficiencies and heavy demands for larger memory storage.

Hitachi and DSI are now synchronising their efforts to design an innovative genome data compression method that can reduce data storage capacity needs, quicken decompression speeds and lower storage costs.

"By raising compression capacity, we can envision smaller genome sequencing facilities to handle petabytes of data in a year compared to current terabytes levels which are mostly restricted to large genome sequencing centres due to storage limitations," said Dr Pantelis Alexopoulos, DSI's executive director.

"DSI will continue to play a pivotal role in enabling new storage technologies for the biomedical research and healthcare industry to accelerate research findings and discoveries."


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