October 11, 2012 -
The U.S. government will support “Big Data” research to aid several universities involved in DNA analysis. The government acknowledges the importance of understanding human DNA and its potential in medicine and other fields, such as biometrics, and will provide US$2 million each in annual grants to five major research institutes over the next three years to develop better algorithms for DNA coding and to set up libraries to hold extensive data.
The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health will administer the grants that will facilitate the implementation of an open source library for the massive amount of genomic data.
Research groups at the universities will focus on understanding DNA but spend less time decoding it. There have been numerous advances in the decoding of a single strand of DNA, but that often leads to large amounts of data with lack of storage capacity. A single DNA experiment can lead up to six billion decoded sequences that need to be stored for later analysis.