Genecloud has been working closely with the GA4GH to implement a Beacon, a new way to share genomic data. What is a Beacon? A Beacon is a web service that allows data owners to make their data more accessible to third-party researchers via simple queries in the form of yes/no questions. One example of such a query would be: “Do you have any genomes with an ‘A’ at position 100,735 on chromosome 3?” A response from the Beacon would be either “Yes” or “No.” If there is a “Yes” response, the third-party researcher can contact the data owner for more information.
- Allows researchers to quickly query multiple datasets to find the samples they need.
- Encourages deeper and more productive collaboration among researchers despite having siloed datasets.
- Mitigates privacy concerns by only providing minimal responses back.
- Simple request and response formats are easy to use, with a web service software that is straightforward to install.
- The formats and protocols have the backing of the GA4GH, which is made up of the leading genomics companies in the world.