Biotechnology

Researchers say open-source collaboration is ‘fundamental’

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New Sequera Lab data has revealed that 72% of research scientists believe that open source collaboration and workflow management is now “fundamental” to the work they do.

Data published by Seqera Labs, a provider of secure data orchestration software, brings together the views of 500 researchers and scientists who use an open source scientific workflow platform for their work.

Such systems are used by researchers to standardize the way data is analyzed, reduce duplication, and provide the infrastructure for high-level projects both within their organization and externally in genomics, metagenomics, and transcriptomics.

The study found that open source workflow platforms are currently used on all continents, with 41% noting the value of cross-organizational collaboration and 32% highlighting the benefits of international collaboration more broadly. With global scientific knowledge and resources spread across the world, 41% say community adoption of workflow systems is critical to the future of their research. One in three (34%) noted the financial savings brought by open source scientific workflows as significant for their research.

Harshil Patel, head of scientific development at Seqera Labs, said: “The significant increase in the ability of data orchestration tools to manage and orchestrate large amounts of data empowers countries to monitor the spread of Covid-19 and continue to operate at the forefront of the world’s defense against diseases such as influenza. , RSV and Bird Flu. These tools operate on the brink of scientific discovery and act as the first line of defense against the threat of a pandemic. The increased efficiency and scalability of the research infrastructure is now the foundation for ongoing scientific research and future breakthroughs as it is no longer constrained by cost or capacity constraints regarding the pipelines used.”

As breakthroughs in personalized medicine and gene therapy create the prospect of increasingly sophisticated treatments for patients, the scientific infrastructure behind such research is continuously improving along with it. One such area is the uptake of public cloud-based providers, which brings benefits in terms of project scalability. More than two-fifths (42%) of researchers say they use a public cloud, up 20% from the previous year. Among private sector organizations, this figure is even higher, with 80% of organizations using a public cloud-based provider.

The provider of choice among those surveyed was Amazon Web Services, with 49% saying they would migrate to their preferred public cloud. 12% said they would choose Google cloud and 8% said Azure.

Evan Floden, founder and CEO of Seqera Labs, said: “As the use of cloud computing continues to play a fundamental role in bioinformatics research, there is still a need for a cost-effective and scalable way to store and process large amounts of sequencing data. Meeting these technical challenges is critical to the development of precision medicine and will only become more important as these orchestration tools are further embedded into the fabric of our global research.

“The beginnings of a collaborative approach to scientific research, using scalable data orchestration tools, have resulted in new therapeutics, personalized care, and a change in what scientists can achieve.”

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