Big News in Big Data: NIH Launches Largest and Most Diverse Genetics Database Ever Created

Rwjf: Feb 26, 2014

Eighteen years ago this month, Big Data had a cultural coming out party when IBM’s Deep Blue defeated international chess champion Gary Kasparov in a game. Gary Kasparov was a chess genius. But Deep Blue could mine the records of 700,000 grandmaster chess games and evaluate 200 million positions per second. The famously nimble Kasparov ultimately could not match the brute computing force of Deep Blue.

This week we mark another historic milestone in Big Data history. This time, there is more at stake than bragging rights from a chess competition.

On February 26 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it had added comprehensive genetic data for a cohort of 78,000 people to its online genetics database—known as the database for Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP). The transfer of data is a down payment on what is envisioned to be the largest and most diverse repository of high quality genetic data in the world. Read More