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GenomeQuest and SGI Announce Whole-Genome Analysis Architecture

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GenomeQuest and SGI have announced the immediate availability of the world’s first whole-genome analysis (WGA) services for researchers. As a result, pharmaceutical companies, core labs, biotechs, government agencies, and clinics now have direct access to whole-genome processing previously found only inside genome centers combined with comprehensive, self-serve analysis.

The WGA services allow whole-genome/exome research teams to:

• Store, manage, and compare their sequences and annotations
• Assemble and align sequences from any instrument
• Interactively query and analyze their runs and projects
• Merge and re-analyze with findings from colleagues and public studies
• Use standard workflows, including Variant Detection, RNA-Seq, and ChIP-Seq
• Build and query enterprise-wide variant archives, and
• Integrate with other tools/systems through an all-level API

"Data analysis is recognized as the bottleneck of whole-genome research. Traditionally, researchers receive static reports for their sequence runs which, at volumes, are impossible to analyze and increasingly siloed,” said Jean-Jacques Codani, GenomeQuest Chief Scientific Officer. “From its inception, the GQ Engine has provided researchers with rich, interactive reports and the ability to integrate and re-analyze with other work. Now, with SGI's longstanding experience in high-performance computing, we have found the bow that best fits our arrow for WGA scale services.”

GenomeQuest and SGI co-developed a software and hardware architecture that is optimized for next generation sequencing and enables whole-genome scale and performance. Based on this architecture, the WGA services are available through the just-upgraded GenomeQuest data center or deployed directly into a customer data center, as may be required by larger accounts, core labs, and clinics.

“Clearly, the storage and computational needs of WGA are massive and unique,” said Dr. Eng Lim Goh, senior vice president and chief technology officer at SGI. “Given the complexity of the algorithms and the scale of the data, success in this area requires a careful factoring then optimization across four key parts of the system - software, computational and I/O capabilities, and burstability. We are very excited about the new GenomeQuest center, and applying this enabling blueprint for life science organizations.”

The GenomeQuest center was upgraded on May 18, 2010. A major investment, it radically improved the user experience and performance for over 2000 existing commercial and academic users.

“We have observed a radical change in the use of GenomeQuest since the opening of the new center,” comments Ron Ranauro, GenomeQuest CEO. "Our personalized medicine research application is processing thousands of exomes per month and will soon scale to over 1000 full-human genomes at deep-coverage.”