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Open Access Commentary

Sequence squeeze: an open contest for sequence compression

Richard CG Holland1* and Nick Lynch23

Author Affiliations

1 Eagle Genomics Ltd, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, UK

2 AstraZeneca UK, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, SK10 3QX, UK

3 Pistoia Alliance Inc, 401 Edgewater Pl., Ste. 600, Wakefield, MA, 01880, USA

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GigaScience 2013, 2:5  doi:10.1186/2047-217X-2-5

Published: 18 April 2013

Abstract

Next-generation sequencing machines produce large quantities of data which are becoming increasingly difficult to move between collaborating organisations or even store within a single organisation. Compressing the data to assist with this is vital, but existing techniques do not perform as well as might be expected. The need for a new compression technique was identified by the Pistoia Alliance who commissioned an open innovation contest to find one. The dynamic and interactive nature of the contest led to some novel algorithms and a high level of competition between participants.

Keywords:
Next-generation sequencing; Cloud computing; Data compression; Open innovation; Big data; Pre-competitive; Competition