The International Cancer Genome Consortium have announced that 1,200 cancer whole genome sequences are now available via Amazon Web Services.

Cloud solutions are essential to genomics research. Researchers produce vast quantities of data through sequencing, with individual projects quickly generating petabytes of data, the equivalent of data on 223,000 DVDs. Cloud computing allows scientists to access giant datasets without the need for endless downloading. As part of their continued push to differentiate its cloud offering for genomics, Amazon have partnered with the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) to offer 1,200 cancer whole genome sequences via their Web Services platform.

ICGC’s database joins The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the 1000 Genomes Project on Amazon’s list of genomics projects. The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is behind the upload to the Amazon Cloud, and is providing authorised researchers with credentials to access and analyse the data.

“This initiative brings together one of the world’s largest cancer genome datasets and one of the world’s leading cloud computing providers to create a powerful new resource for cancer researchers,” said Dr. Lincoln Stein, Director of the Informatics and Biocomputing Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Director of the ICGC’s Data Coordination Center. “Now, far more researchers will have access to ICGC data, opening up the possibility of new discoveries and new breakthroughs in cancer research.”

“Making this data available and usable will enable more researchers across the world to ask questions and get answers that were previously out of reach,” said Matt Wood, General Manager of Product Strategy at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Researchers can now explore these large and diverse datasets in unconstrained ways, without having to manage large amounts of physical infrastructure. Instead, they can focus on driving their state-of-the-art research forward.”

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