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Where Cancer Genomes Gather


Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have developed what they're calling the world's largest database of cancer genomes, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. The new Cancer Genomics Hub, or CGHub, will hold raw data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, as well as data from the US National Cancer Institute's childhood- and HIV-associated cancer genome projects, Kaiser says. It will also take over the cancer sequencing data collected by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information.

"Physically based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the CGHub computer system is ready to store 5 petabytes of DNA and RNA data from cancer patients," Kaiser says. "TCGA is generating 10 terabytes of data a month, and will eventually produce 10 petabytes — 10,000 terabytes — of data."

UCSC bioinformatician David Haussler tells Kaiser that bringing all that data together in one place will help researchers develop more treatments for cancer patients. "What's very important is … make it easy for researchers to do cross-dataset comparisons," he adds. In a UCSC press release, Haussler also compares the project to other massive scientific undertakings of the past decade. "Right now, cancer research needs something on a very large scale, like the Large Hadron Collider in physics," he says. "Instead of bringing subatomic particles together in high-energy collisions and computing their behavior, we're bringing cancer genomes together in a common database and computing the disease drivers."

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.