New tool for collaborative genomic data sharing

6 August 2014

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has created a new Application Programming Interface (API) to facilitate sharing of DNA sequence data.

The open source Genomics v0.5 API is one of a suite of APIs being developed by the Global Alliance's Data Working Group, all with the intention of helping DNA data providers and consumers work globally and collaboratively. This product helps allow the exchange of DNA sequence data between different platforms and multiple organisations. It was developed via an open process so that bioinformaticians from any institution can explore the platform and provide feedback.

The GA4GH was established in 2013 and comprises over 200 stakeholders including major biomedical research funders, institutions and companies, disease and patient advocacy organisations and others, including the PHG Foundation.

Dr Richard Durbin, leader of the the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Genome Informatics group, said: "Genome sequencing is transitioning from being a powerful research tool to making an enormous impact in clinical diagnostics and care", and said that the new API would help the effective application of modern computing and data architectures for both clinical and research benefit.

Dr Sobia Raza of the PHG Foundation commented that release of the open-source API was an important stage in enabling genomics data sharing and collaboration, adding: “Increasingly we are seeing that the technical barriers to genomics data sharing are indeed surmountable; similar progress in addressing the political challenges and disincentives to collaboration and data sharing would help further advance genomics research”.

To find out more about the pivotal role of bioinformatics in DNA analysis and genomic medicine, see our free bioinformatics briefing.

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