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Computing patient data in the cloud: practical and legal considerations for genetics and genomics research in Europe and internationally

Molnár-Gábor, Fruzsina ; Lück, Rupert ; Yakneen, Sergei ; Korbel, Jan O.

In: Genome Medicine, 9 (2017), Nr. 58. pp. 1-12. ISSN 1756-994X

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Download (418kB) | Lizenz: Creative Commons LizenzvertragComputing patient data in the cloud: practical and legal considerations for genetics and genomics research in Europe and internationally by Molnár-Gábor, Fruzsina ; Lück, Rupert ; Yakneen, Sergei ; Korbel, Jan O. underlies the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany

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Abstract

Biomedical research is becoming increasingly large-scale and international. Cloud computing enables the comprehensive integration of genomic and clinical data, and the global sharing and collaborative processing of these data within a flexibly scalable infrastructure. Clouds offer novel research opportunities in genomics, as they facilitate cohort studies to be carried out at unprecedented scale, and they enable computer processing with superior pace and throughput, allowing researchers to address questions that could not be addressed by studies using limited cohorts. A well-developed example of such research is the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes project, which involves the analysis of petabyte-scale genomic datasets from research centers in different locations or countries and different jurisdictions. Aside from the tremendous opportunities, there are also concerns regarding the utilization of clouds; these concerns pertain to perceived limitations in data security and protection, and the need for due consideration of the rights of patient donors and research participants. Furthermore, the increased outsourcing of information technology impedes the ability of researchers to act within the realm of existing local regulations owing to fundamental differences in the understanding of the right to data protection in various legal systems. In this Opinion article, we address the current opportunities and limitations of cloud computing and highlight the responsible use of federated and hybrid clouds that are set up between public and private partners as an adequate solution for genetics and genomics research in Europe, and under certain conditions between Europe and international partners. This approach could represent a sensible middle ground between fragmented individual solutions and a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Genome Medicine
Volume: 9
Number: 58
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 11:40
Date: 2017
ISSN: 1756-994X
Page Range: pp. 1-12
Faculties / Institutes: Service facilities > Marsilius Kolleg
Service facilities > European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Subjects: 000 Generalities, Science
610 Medical sciences Medicine
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