Big genomic data visualization
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Cloud computing specialists Lifebit will partner with the Danish National Genome Center to help improve precision medicine research and application across Denmark.

The Danish National Genome Center was set up in 2019 with a grant of DKK 990 million ($140 million) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to cover the first 4.5 years and to go towards establishing and operating the infrastructure of the organization.

The aim of the Center is primarily to carry out research in genomic medicine and improve and speed rollout of precision medicine across Denmark. “With the Danish National Genome Center Denmark will have a world-leading and high-tech center for precision medicine,” commented acting Director General Peter Løngreen, in a press statement at the time it opened.

“We are building a supercomputer system that enables the combination of large amounts of different types of data. We might combine text from Electronic Health Records (EHR), X-rays and genetic data. The supercomputer’s analytic power will enable us to uncover patterns and contexts that provide a very accurate picture of patient treatment while at the same time endowing health research with a data infrastructure that has great potential to the benefit of future patients.”

One of the issues with dealing with large amounts of sensitive health data is how best to store the data in a safe a secure way, while still being able to carry out a broad range of research using the data. Lifebit is a health tech company based in London that specializes in solving this problem.

According to their website, Lifebit’s cloud-based technology “enables researchers to run analyses on multiple, distributed datasets in-situ and avoid risky movement of highly-sensitive data.”

The company announced this week it will use its technology to create a ‘Federated Trusted Research Environment’ within the Danish Genome Center’s super computer cluster to assist researchers at the center with secure health and genomic data management and analysis. The cloud-based nature of the technology will also allow international research collaborators to access the Center’s data securely during combined research projects.

When it opened the Center announced that one of its first aims was to sequence 60,000 genomes from patients with conditions such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and rare diseases by 2024. This data will be stored securely at the Center using Lifebit’s platform.

“This Federated Trusted Research Environment will enable researchers to more effectively collaborate over this rich dataset at scale and drive international collaboration between other government initiatives – many of which already leverage Lifebit’s federated technology,” said Thorben Seeger, Chief Business Development Officer at Lifebit, in a press statement.

Other national genome organizations using the same technology include Genomics England, NIHR Cambridge and the Hong Kong Genome Institute.

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