The race between sequencers and computers

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by hinrich

Moore's Law for sequencing

While computers still follow Moore's law and double their processing power every 18 months, sequencers increase their data output about 5x per year (see graphics shown in the article "DNA Sequencing Costs" by the National Human Genome Research Institute here. This obvious discrepancy triggers the question: will we rely on technological advances in processing power to close the gap?

I don't think so. Even if we could make leaps in computing power, we are still faced with the signal vs. noise problem. We have to make serious jumps forward in the development of algorithms that enable us to increase the power of our filters.

And ideally we would be able to close the loop. We should use our experience in data filtering to guide future technological developments. Designing technology in such a way that makes it easier for data analysis algorithms to discriminate the signal from the noise will be the future.

Currently we are trying to cure a disease. We better start looking for ways to prevent it. This could be one approach.

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