Technology has truly transformed mankind. Today, we live in a world of smartphones and clouds. Every question can be answered with a touch using Google search. You can find answers to almost anything in just a few minutes. People use Google search to find information on things ranging from physics to history. Some also look up medical information using Google search. This is about to change. Google has introduced a new venture – Google Genomics. It lets medical researchers store and evaluate genomic data in their cloud. The cost of storing and analyzing a genome has gone from millions of dollars to just under $1000 in the last 15 years. Its getting more affordable to store and analyze this data. What does this mean? It means that researchers can store more genomes and find interesting patterns in the data by analyzing a massive data sample. This can lead to all kinds of medical breakthroughs. We can cure diseases, identify likelihood of getting a disease for a given person, and even build custom medicine for a person. The ability to cheaply store and analyze this data will be a revolution in medicine.
In the future, doctors could just enter a query in the Google Genomics database and get accurate results in seconds. Doctors can even collect genome data from patients and analyze it in minutes. This will lead to more accurate detection of the patient’s condition and even enable custom medication tailored for a patient. People might also be able to store their genome data in the cloud and use Google search to get medical answers based on their genome data. You could also be alerted if a virus is spreading and you were immune to it. The innovations that can spur with this technology are endless.
Google has started accepting applications to use its cloud to store and analyze genome data and has build open source software for this purpose. Researchers can sign up for the beta program, download the software and start storing and analyzing a genome for $25/year. This is the first step to creating a large biological database of genomes on the cloud which could be shared by researchers to find answers to some of the most challenging questions.
Here is a video explaining Google Genomics: