New Genome Browser product gives freedom to easily collaborate in the cloud

January 24, 2017, University of California - Santa Cruz
Just launched! Genome Browser in the Cloud (GBiC) introduces more freedom to collaborate, plus faster Genome Browser installations. Credit: UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

Until now, genomics research groups working with sensitive medical data were largely limited to using local Genome Browser installations to maintain confidentiality, complicating data-sharing among collaborators. Today, the Genome Browser group of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute announced they have changed that by launching a new product, Genome Browser in the Cloud (GBiC). GBiC introduces new freedom to collaborate by allowing rapid Browser installation, in any UNIX-based cloud.

Users provide the cloud instance, then install the Genome Browser image and grant access to whomever needs it. GBiC functions the same and is as secure as the public version of the Genome Browser, Genome Browser in a Box (GBiB), or a Genome Browser mirror site. Another GBiC innovation is significantly reduced installation time as compared to earlier Genome Browser versions.

"We are very pleased with how this product facilitates remote collaboration—for example, between a hospital physician, an off-site lab technician and a third-party genomic researcher," said Genome Browser author and Principal Investigator Jim Kent. "Thanks to the efforts of GBiC Engineer Max Haeussler, users also benefit from significantly faster installation time," Kent continued. "What historically took at least a week, now typically is less than an hour," he said.

While the GBiC is intended specifically for cloud-based installations, its functionality is versatile. For most purposes, the GBiC essentially replaces the manual installation process for mirroring the UCSC Genome Browser in multiple environments (cloud servers, dedicated servers, or even a laptop).

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