Leveraging big data and AI in genomic research

EZZ Life Science
Wednesday, 20 December, 2023

Leveraging big data and AI in genomic research

Artificial intelligence (AI) has fast become an integral part of our daily lives, and embracing it is essential to the progress of many industries. Life science is no different.

In fact, advancements in whole genome sequencing have ignited a revolution in digital biology, and leveraging machine learning techniques and collaborations is instrumental in providing an accurate, timely, locally nuanced analysis of multiple data sources, which is now pivotal to our decision-making.

The ‘AI is going to take your job’ headline, especially considering the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence tools in recent years, has struck many with fear. But according to Glenn Cross, Non-Executive Director and Chair of EZZ Life Science, “We can’t fight AI, but instead we need to work with it to best advance ourselves and opportunities where possible.”

When it comes to genomic research, AI holds promise to greatly simplify and speed genome interpretation by integrating predictive methods with the growing knowledge of genetic disease. According to Cross, “By pairing AI with our knowledge, we can undeniably leverage it to our advantage using its speed and big data to streamline research and development processes, reduce operational costs and enable more informed decision-making for the company’s strategic direction.”

EZZ is passionate about investing in the future of consumer health with a focus on genomic research and development, and genome sequencing is becoming a fundamental step in clinical workflows and drug discovery — and this is just the start. Analysing genome sequencing data requires accelerated compute, and by using data science and AI to read, companies like EZZ can understand the genome better than ever.

Like the advancement of AI, this science is always developing, and exploring new technology is essential to lower the cost of data analysis, increase the quantity and accuracy of reads, and ultimately unlock the full potential of the human genome.

Although the sharing of genomic data holds great promise for advancing precision medicine, providing personalised treatments and other types of interventions, there are also growing concerns around privacy. It is clear that people the world over have concerns about how their genomic information is used, often stated as challenging their privacy.

It is undeniable that these apprehensions do have some foundation. With any misuse of data, people can suffer harm — adverse consequences may include stigmatisation, disruption of familial relationships or loss of employment or insurance.

To combat these concerns, numerous laws have been put in place and are constantly being adapted to address and manage the rapid growth of genomic data to best maintain people’s privacy, identifying any challenges that arise along the way. In addition, it is generally understood that the two essential values of scientific research are balanced — the need to share data broadly to maximise its use for ongoing scientific exploration and the need to protect research participants’ privacy.

To achieve the best results possible for the benefit of humans and individuals, EZZ is utilising AI to help provide insights through advanced computation and inference, enabling the system to reason and learn, while ensuring data is safe and secure. This should lead to our further advancement, understanding and longevity in life.

Image credit: iStock.com/Devrimb

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