A Step in Cancer Research

genome2SLUG REPORT >  New database built at UCSC allows for massive data storage, allowing for leap in cancer research

A large-scale data repository has just been built at UC Santa Cruz, bringing cancer researchers one step closer to a truly comprehensive biomedical cancer research database.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute, UCSC’s new Cancer Genomics Hub will allow researchers to manage and analyze the large quantities of gathered data necessary for precision treatment of cancer. UCSC bioinformatics expert David Haussler’s team established the hub, which is in an initial “beta” release.


“By providing researchers with comprehensive catalogs of the key genomic changes in many types of cancer, these efforts will support the development of more effective ways to diagnose and treat cancer,” Haussler said in a UCSC press release.

Though the repository will eventually allow for targeted treatment of cancer based on a patient’s individual genetic history, Haussler warns against undue optimism.

“There won’t be one magic bullet, because cancer is not one disease,” he says. “Every instance of cancer is different.”

Each genome file (read: information based on a cancer case’s individual genetic history) takes up to a terabyte of data—for an idea of the scale of information being stored in the repository, the Hubble Space Telescope amassed only 45 terabytes of data in its first 20 years of operation.

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