What advantages does the Genome-Cloud have for researchers?
The Genome-Cloud will have several key advantages:
- The Genome-Cloud will make genomic analysis with state-of-the-art tools widely accessible (to experts as well as non-experts), providing bioinformatics processing capabilities to numerous users in Germany.
- Pre-configured pipelines and state-of-the-art computing infrastructure will become available to the German community through the Genome-Cloud, to facilitate state-of-the-art genomic analyses (Software-as-a-service, SaaS, and Infrastructure-as-a-service, IaaS, models).
- The use of standardized analysis pipelines enabled by the Genome-Cloud will additionally facilitate integrative analyses and meta-analyses, by improving the comparability of datasets generated at different institutions.
- Through standardized data access control and centralized data storage, the Genome-Cloud will further yield improved data protection, and, once widely applied will reduce the need to duplicate commonly used datasets
- Resource sharing, and the avoidance of duplication of infrastructure, will eventually lead to reduction in overall infrastructure and operational costs.
What data types will be stored, processed and analyzed?
All types of datasets used in the life sciences can be stored in principle, although we will begin including DNA sequencing, transcriptome, and methylome data (augmented, whenever possible, with clinical data). The Genome-Cloud will accept data from basic research and disease studies, and will not be limited to particular diseases.
Are the data save and how will the data be protected?
The Genome Cloud’s data security plan, and especially the protection of data in the cloud, will comply with stringent German data protection regulations and standards. Standardized data access control and centralized data storage will confer improved data protection. Furthermore, once in use the Genome-Cloud will decrease the need for dataset duplication (reducing this specific data security risk).
Will the Genome-Cloud be governed by a single research institution?
No. We envision that a new non-profit association not bound to a single existing research institution will be founded, with the objectives to establish and operate the Genome Cloud. This organization will also be responsible for compliance with data security and data protection.
Will the Genome-Cloud focus only on a particular type of research, such as cancer research?
Although the Genome-Cloud we will be initially set up with cancer datasets, for which given the amount of data already currently available the present need is particularly high, we will ensure utility across all areas of the life sciences.
Who will be users of the Genome-Cloud?
The Genome-Cloud will make genomic analysis with state-of-the-art tools widely accessible, providing bioinformatics processing capabilities to numerous users in Germany. Amongst the users will be bioinformaticians, clinicians as well as omics- and data-scientists.
- Bioinformaticians, computer scientists and software engineers will develop new computational workflows (or improve existing ones) to facilitate data analysis and interpretation using the Genome-Cloud. Analysts will be able to employ custom analysis workflows to process genetic data stored within the cloud, using the Genome Cloud’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model.
- Life scientists, clinicians, diagnostic laboratories, and members of biotech/pharmaceutical industries will make use of the Genome Cloud’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to employ pre-configured analysis pipelines. Data analysis may be accompanied by the upload of new data, and will benefit from the use of data previously available at the Genome-Cloud.
- Basic researchers or clinicians will be able to consult the Genome Cloud’s data portal to investigate existing preprocessed data.