Tute Genomics, a Utah-based provider of a clinical genome interpretation platform, along with Dr. Xiaoming Liu and his team at the University of Texas, have teamed up with Google to grant public access to a database of 8.5 billion annotations of genetic variants through Google Genomics.
"Nextgeneration sequencing has become more affordable than ever," said Reid Robison, M.D., MBA, CEO of Tute Genomics. "The time is coming when genome sequencing will be part of routine clinical care, and open access to genetic variant databases is a necessary step in order to accelerate progress towards precision medicine."
By collaborating with Google Genomics, Tute Genomics is helping to streamline the annotation of genetic variants. Annotation is a process that involves identifying and describing gene products and then matching variants to public and/or private collections of genomic data. Variants that previously have been linked to inheritable disease are earmarked for further inspection, and then prioritized according to the likelihood of contributing to disease. Tute's database contains annotations for every single nucleotide variant (SNV) in the human genome. With this wealth of data at their disposal, researchers and clinicians will be able to use it in their everyday interactions with patients, making precision medicine a reality.
The goal of Google Genomics is to empower fast and actionable analyses of massive genomic datasets, which are becoming more common as the world enters this terabyte (and even petabyte) era of genetic research. Google Genomics addresses this Big Data challenge by leveraging the search engine's massive cloud computing infrastructure to store, process, explore and share genetic data. The platform gives users unparalleled speed and power, with the ability to run multigigabyte queries against multiterabyte databases in seconds. When combined with Tute's donation of its unprecedented genetic knowledge base, it will enable researchers to reference and query their own samples and cohorts more easily and efficiently than ever before.
"The fields of genetics and genomics are amazingly collaborative and this collaboration frequently happens on a global scale," said David Mittelman, geneticist and chief scientific officer at Tute Genomics.