Some good examples on how big data is being used in healthcare and how its further use in improved understanding of cancer genetics is hampered by lack of more data and related infrastructure. Quote:
He [University of California Santa Cruz researcher David Haussler] — along with others in the field — thinks cloud computing could be the solution because it gives genetic researchers a central location where they can access and perform computations on the data. Haussler and his team that house the Cancer Genome Atlas and a couple other projects currently have more than 400 terabytes of data and expect to have around 5 petabytes of data eventually. Downloading that is infeasible save for access to high-speed research networks, so “we need a place where people can experiment with these big data problems,” Haussler said.
In the meantime, Haussler and his peers will keep on collecting and accessing genome data however they can. And they’ll keep building software packages and algorithms that analyze that data better and faster than ever before. However, he lamented, “If we had the big data out there in an unrestricted setting, then all the best minds in the world would already be crunching on it.”