A Powerhouse Collaboration: Your Genes Reach the “Cloud”

A Powerhouse Collaboration: Your Genes Reach the “Cloud”

Recently, Autism Speaks announced that geneticist Stephen Scherer (Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto) as the new director of the Autism Speaks-led project. The first major announcement came from Dr. Scherer in a presentation at a conference in San Diego where he outlined the groundbreaking project “MSSNG” (pronounced missing). Vowels were intentionally removed from the spelling to highlight the unknown answers about whole genome sequencing the program hopes to uncover.

MSSNG is a collaboration between Autism Speaks, Google and SickKids Hospital in Toronto. The overarching mission of the project according to Autism Speaks is to provide whole genome sequences of 10,000 individuals with autism and their family members to the scientific research community, as well as to the family members and their doctors involved in the project. Google will use the platform Google Cloud to provide storage for the genomes the MSSNG program will sequence. Once the genomes are sequenced, approved scientists will be able to access the whole genome using Google Cloud. Google Cloud will also provide powerful analytic tools that will allow approved geneticists, scientists, researchers and biostatisticians to process the information to test novel hypotheses.

Our Canadian families will play a role! For the families who have given their consent, your de-identified information (collected as part of the Genetics of Autism studies) will be amongst the first group laced in the cloud. All of your identifying information will remain secure and confidential with our research team.

For more information about the MSSNG program visit Autism Speaks website (www.autismspeaks.org).

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