Mind to Market

Friday, March 14, 2008

Helicos Looks to Collaborate

No sooner did Helicos BioSciences announce the shipment of their first Single Molecule DNA Sequencer did they announce the formation of a federation of IT vendors to handle the crush of data that the new machine will be churning out. In an interview in the online edition of Bio-World, Kristen Stoops, Director of Informatics at Helicos, describes the astronomical amount of data that is collected by their machine; upwards of 5 TB per day. A next-gen sequencer obviously requires next-gen data management.

They are looking for hardware, networking technology, high-performance computing, systems integrators, bioinformaticians, basic IT infrastructure companies, and LIMS vendors. Then get this diverse group to integrate their technologies for as Stoops says "speed…is going to be key in mitigating the data management challenges."

Helicos' eventual goal is clear: the $1000 whole genome, but to get there they’ll have to speed up their process from 1 billion bases per day to 1 billion bases per hour. Users of next-gen sequencers are cautioned to have a clear idea of the data management issue, this will in fact be a major hurdle in the adoption of these sequencers.

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