DNAstack Showcases Standards-Based System For Federated Discovery and Analysis in GA4GH 2020 Connection Demos
October 2, 2020

Today, DNAstack revealed a software system built on standards developed by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to enable federated analysis of genomics and related health data.

The system, demonstrated at the 8th Plenary Meeting of GA4GH earlier this week, features the first integration of multiple emerging standards for data access, discovery, and cloud computing, which are foundational for connecting secure, scalable, and distributed data sharing networks.

Enabling federated data sharing and analysis is important for advancing genomic research, where institutional and regulatory policies can restrict the use of valuable datasets that would otherwise stay siloed from each other. GA4GH has brought together a global community of collaborators that have worked for years to design domain-specific standards that facilitate the responsible sharing of genomic and related health information.

“We’re excited to debut an integrated system of GA4GH standards to help break through long-standing barriers to federated analysis of genomic data,” said Max Barkley, Senior Software Developer, Technical Lead at DNAstack, and co-lead of GA4GH Federated Analysis Systems Project (FASP). “This marks a major milestone for DNAstack in our mission to accelerate genomics medicine through data sharing.”

The DNAstack system was demonstrated through a real-world analysis of controlled access data hosted on multiple cloud platforms, including from the Autism Speaks MSSNG Project. The system was presented as one of three GA4GH 2020 Connection Demos. The two other demonstrations showed reproducibility of a bioinformatics analysis run in multiple environments, and multi-directional interoperability by combining implementations from different organizations.

“The Connection Demos are an enormous success for the members of the GA4GH Work Streams, who have collectively dedicated thousands of hours over the last three years toward standards development,” said Ewan Birney, Deputy Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and Chair of GA4GH. “The demos show how this community’s work will enable interoperability across the genomics endeavour.”

The GA4GH 2020 Connection Demos highlighted how standards can be used vertically and horizontally to share data while complying with institutional, regional, national, and international regulations as well as across cloud and analytics environments. Data sharing across platforms and institutions will enable the research community to access and analyze the tens of millions of genome sequences that have been generated for research and healthcare purposes, which has the potential to rapidly accelerate our scientific understanding, particularly in rare and complex diseases.

About DNAstack

DNAstack’s mission is to improve the lives of millions of people by breaking down barriers to data sharing and discovery. DNAstack develops standards and technologies for scientists to more efficiently find, access, and analyze the world’s exponentially growing volumes of genomic and biomedical data. For additional support or partnership interest, please contact us by email to info@dnastack.com.