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The $1000 Genome from a Computational Perspective

photoGlenn Lockwood from SDSC writes that Illumina’s new high-throughput sequencer will be able to sequence human genomes at a cost of $1000 each. But what it serves up will require computational resources on a grand scale.

Getting meaningful insight out of a person’s genome doesn’t stop when the sequencer finishes generating data for a sample; the process of transforming that raw read data into an aligned genome invariably requires a significant amount of computation too. In the past, this has generally been a task that could be satisfied on a beefy workstation and it was easy to overlook the computational implications when new sequencing technologies took the spotlight. However, it now seems like we’re rapidly approaching a point where high-end computational infrastructure needs to share the stage with emerging sequencing technology.

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