Google is never short of surprises. After rocking the industry by announcing a massive price cut on their cloud-based storage system, The Drive just days before, Google is at it again, inviting a team of geneticists to upload information into the Mountain View Search giant’s cloud infrastructure. Google has provided the scientists a walk through on how they can import, process, store and search for DNA information, a move that may pave way to discovering cures for various diseases.
According to a report by MarketsnadMarkets, global genomics currently markets at a jaw-dropping $11 billion in 2013 and value is predicted to jump up to $19 billion by 2018. The wellbeing care and cloud-computing marketplace is also predicted to grow within just a few short years, and this may have swayed Google into getting a piece of the action.
Taking Human DNA TO The Cloud
In order to properly analyze genomes, explore deadly mutations and discover pathways towards developing life-saving drugs to incurable diseases, scientists will require storage. And LOTS of it. One individual’s genome could add up to 100 gigabyte of data and sequencing the human genome requires rigorous analysis.
However, issues regarding access to data analysis information and privacy protection have become cause for public concern. To address the issues, Google has teamed up with the Global Alliance For Genomics and Health, a group of health care providers, life science firms, universities and others. Members of the Global Alliance For Genomics and Health has met up for the first this month to encourage the industry to unify resources and develop standards on how to manage the data.
Global Alliance For Genomics and Health is working to govern ethics, data storage, privacy and security by developing common policies related to using genomics data stored from the cloud servers. To assure the public uproar over privacy issues, Google reps went on record to say that genomic data stored on their cloud is safe and secure.
Unprecedented Move To Health Care and Wellness
Google’s surprising move to genomics signals the search engine giant’s growing interest into health care and medical research. According to UCLA adjunct professor, George Geis, “this whole area, by the way of genome analysis, is really in general a hot area. Geis adds, that Google’s foray in genomics “could very well transform Google into another type of company – it partners with a pharmaceutical company or licenses its discoveries and patents its discoveries”
For now, Google is offering the genetics community 100% free access to its web services. However, this may not be the case in the future as Google is facing tough competition in the genomics-analysis industry, the biggest being, Amazon.com.
The Future of Genomics
While industry experts agree that cloud-based storage is still in infancy, Google’s involvement in the genomics analysis market may be the start of medical research and wellness reaching to a broader audience and with that comes even bigger profits for Google, a company that has already made significant funding in health care for the past year.