Google Genomics offers cloud-based sequence data services

11 November 2014

Google Genomics is offering whole genome sequence data cloud-based storage for $25 per year.

Google Genomics is a web-based application programming interface (API) for genomic data launched last year that uses Google's cloud infrastructure for storage and is developing an array of tools for data processing and analysis. Their major rivals for cloud-based genome data storage are Amazon Web services, along with Microsoft and IBM.

Recent reports say that Google Genomics has been trying to pitch their data storage and analysis services to hospitals and academic centres for around $25 a year per raw genome sequence (around 100 gigabytes), for storage alone; analysis will cost more. However, a processed human genome sequence at under one gigbyte would cost only $0.25 per year to store.

Google’s major rivals for cloud-based genome data storage are Amazon Web services, along with Microsoft and IBM. End-users hope the competition will have a beneficial impact on prices; Stanford University's genetics computer cluster manager Somalee Datta told MIT Technology Review: "Prices are finally becoming reasonable, and we think they will keep dropping".

Google Genomics is also in the process of implementing the API defined by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health . Different centres using compatible APIs will find it much easier to exchange and share genomic datasets.

Googles research division, Google X, is also reportedly working on a study of genomics and health by collecting anonymised health data and biological samples from 175 people to create individual genomic health databases based on complex analyses of genomic data and health-related biomarkers.

For information on bioinformatics in clinical genome analysis, see our briefing note Defining the role of a bioinformatician.

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