June 29, 2012, Cambridge, Mass., and Shenzhen, China – BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, announced today that a group of scientists and researchers successfully demonstrated genomic data transfer at a sustained rate of almost 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) over a new link connecting US and China research and education networks. This data rate is equivalent to moving more than 100 million megabytes -- over 5,400 full Blu-ray discs -- in a single day.
The data transfer demonstration was part of a June 22nd event in Beijing celebrating a new 10 Gigabit US – China network connection supported by Internet2, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Indiana University. Three centers and their representatives participated in the demonstration – BGI, Dr. Xing Xu, Director of Cloud Computing Product; UC Davis, Dr. Dawei Lin, Director of Bioinformatics Core of Genome Center; and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Dr. Don Preuss, Head of Systems Group. Aspera Inc., the creator of the technology that moves the world's data at maximum speed, provided software to support the data transfers.
BGI performed the live demos of ultra high-speed data exchanges between the three world-class genomics institutions. For example, BGI transferred 24 Gigabytes of genomic data from Beijing to UC Davis in less than 30 seconds. A file of the same size sent over the public Internet a few days earlier took more than 26 hours.
"The 10 Gigabit network connection is even faster than transferring data to most local hard drives," said Dr. Lin. "The use of a 10 Gigabit network connection will be groundbreaking, very much like email replacing hand delivered mail for communication. It will enable scientists in the genomics-related fields to communicate and transfer data more rapidly and conveniently, and bring the best minds together to better explore the mysteries of life science."
Dr. Xu said, "This was the first time that large genomic data were transferred between China and the US over a 10 Gigabit network. BGI is excited to demonstrate this achievement and looks forward to the potential opportunity to incorporate this breakthrough into our service capabilities to facilitate more rapid and efficient exchange of big genomic data globally."
Genomics has revolutionized the life sciences. While the cost of DNA sequencing is steadily decreasing, the amount of data generated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies is growing at an unprecedented pace. In the age of "Big Genomics Data", how to conveniently share the tremendous volume of data has become a significant research bottleneck. The 10 Gigabit Internet connection may provide a significant new tool for tackling "big data" and increasing scientific collaboration, education and cultural exchange between the two countries.
BGI was founded in Beijing, China, in 1999 with the mission to become a premier scientific partner for the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible, which it achieves through its investment in infrastructure, leveraging the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and BGI Europe, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications.
BGI has a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research: research that has generated over 170 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. BGI's many accomplishments include: sequencing one percent of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10 percent to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, more recently, have sequenced the human Gut Metagenome, and a significant proportion of the genomes for the 1000 Genomes Project. For more information about BGI, please visit www.bgiamericas.com or www.genomics.cn.
About UC Davis
For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 32,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget that exceeds $684 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges -- Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools -- Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.
Director of Bioinformatics Core
UC Davis Genome Center
Public Communication Officer
Joyce Peng, Ph.D.
BGI Americas Corporation
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