One Global Cloud Platform Unites Researchers to Shed Light on Autism

Autism. It’s a word that evokes an inherently emotional response in many. And many wish for a cure, or at the least, better understanding of why it happens.

Genomic research has focused on autism for decades. And today marks one more stride in the scientific study of the disease. The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) has made its Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) Autism dataset available online via the WuXi NextCODE Exchange, an integrated cloud-based database, interpretation, and discovery system. You can read more about this announcement here.

Last April, DNAnexus announced our strategic alliance with WuXi NextCODE to bring together WuXi’s leading genomics and R&D through DNAnexus’ global cloud-based platform to accelerate the use of genomics to benefit patients worldwide. The Simons Foundation is now using this very platform to share the SSC dataset with researchers globally and expand Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research through widespread collaboration.

DNAnexus is proud to support the underlying infrastructure for WuXi NextCODE’s scalable, HIPAA-compliant cloud-based platform, which allows a broader slice of the research community to leverage the SSC dataset.  SFARI approved researchers now have access to not only the variant files, but also the raw reads, allowing a deeper dive into known candidate genes and to uncover novel candidate genes for Autism.  With access to both raw reads and FreeBayes and GATK variant calls for all 10,000 samples, researchers can now run additional analyses and collaborate with colleagues, all without having to move or download the data files.

As the Simons Foundation has demonstrated, there is a global appetite for genomic health technology that enables collaboration in real time, to power faster innovation.  Together, we are advancing the understanding of ASD. DNAnexus enables the global network for genomics, and this joint effort with WuXiNextCODE and the SFARI is just one example (Learn more about how others researchers and enterprises are using the DNAnexus Platform) of how we are connecting the genomics industry, by breaking down data silos and paving the way for medical advancement through scientific collaboration.