Shenzhen China – Bio-IT World magazine announced the winners of its eighth Best Practices Awards program on April 25, 2012. BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, was honored with the award for their flexible green cloud computing infrastructure for de novo assembly and re-sequencing analysis.
Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards Program was established in 2003, which recognizes these organizations for their outstanding innovations and excellence in the use of technologies, practices, and novel business strategies that will advance drug discovery, development, biomedical research, and clinical trials.
Lin Fang, Vice President of BGI, Sifei He, Director of BGI Cloud and Xing Xu, Senior Product Manager of BGI Cloud along with other BGI representatives attended the Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards ceremony. On behalf of BGI, Lin Fang accepted the award and showed great appreciation to the organizer and supporters. He emphasized that BGI would like to continue the research on flexible green cloud computing to meet the growing need for managing and analyzing “Big Genomics Data”. He also looked for making more breakthroughs in Omics-related research for the benefit of life sciences.
Next-gen sequencing (NGS) technologies have revolutionized the field of genomics, but the “Big Genomics Data” produced by NGS has greatly hampered its further development. Many IT industries and large genomic organizations have been gradually shifting their analytical methods to use cloud-based green – more energy efficient – solutions for processing the enormous amounts of biological data.
To develop a viable solution for tackling “Big Genomics Data”, BGI has made many achievements in the development of flexible green cloud computing. They designed and developed a series of software, pipelines and algorithms with high efficiency, versatility and scalability. These algorithms are the key components of BGI’s flexible green cloud computing infrastructure for de novo assembly and re-sequencing analysis.
As one of the first organizations that integrate the Apache™ Hadoop™ MapReduce infrastructure into algorithms for NGS analyses, BGI developed two “flexible computing” solutions for de novo assembly and resequencing analyses, Hecate 2 and Gaea 2, which specifically handle the most time-consuming steps of NGS analyses, de novo assembly and re-sequencing analysis respectively. Hecate & Gaea has drawn significant attention worldwide from many biological researchers and computer scientists.
When developing green cloud computing infrastructures, it is important for software developers to adopt an excellent parallel computing power of dedicated hardware such as the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). GSNP and GAMA are two efficient discovery tools for genetic variation implemented on the GPU platform. They achieve more than 100-fold speedup for SNP calling and large-scale genome-wide association study with significant reduction of energy consumption.
According to the researchers, these new algorithms have successfully been applied into analyzing the sequencing data in clinical and biological research with fast turnaround time, high efficiency and low cost. Fang said, “With these ‘flexible computing’ solutions, I believe our infrastructures could lay an important foundation for the dramatic advancement of Omics-related studies and allow researchers to design and carry out more large-scale analyses that might have been considered to be partly or wholly unimplementable before.”
In addition to the “flexible computing” solutions, BGI debut its latest-generation cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, EasyGenomics on April 24. It could facilitate the processing of large volumes of genomic data, and make omics-related research faster and easier for researchers. (For more information, please visit www.EasyGenomics.com.
BGI was founded in Beijing, China, in 1999 with the mission to become a premier scientific partner for the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible, which it achieves through its investment in infrastructure, leveraging the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and BGI Europe, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications.
BGI has a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research: research that has generated over 170 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. BGI’s many accomplishments include: sequencing one percentage of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10 percentage to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, more recently, have sequenced the human Gut Metagenome, and a significant proportion of the genomes for the 1000 Genomes Project.