Supercomputer Processes 240 Whole Genomes in Two Days
University of Chicago’s Supercomputer Beagle has demonstrated that it is possible to process 240 whole human genomes in less than 48 hour. This was done using just 1/4th of Beagle’s processing power.
While other cloud computing giants such as Amazon and Google are jumping on the genome processing bandwagon, the Beagle successfully demonstrated that with enough computing power and parallel processing, genome processing can be speeded up. It also showed that the current software and algorithms are not optimized for use by supercomputer’s parallel supercomputing capabilities. The Beagle, named after Charles Darwin’s famous ship, was capable of processing multiple genomes simultaneously using commercially available algorithms and software packages.
Currently, complete genome analysis is only used for research purposes, while partial genome analysis is used for clinical and preventive medicine. However, by speeding up the process and reducing the cost, complete genome analysis should become suitable for clinical use.