ARC - SBC DRAGEN Collaboration
The SBC (and The Pharm Sci Seq Centre which preceded it) has, for the past 3 years, provided client-first, personalized sequencing services to UBC researchers, as well as their collaborators across Canada and Internationally. We recently completed sequencing several hundred exomes and in 2016 will be offering clinical-grade exomes with a rapid Turn-Around-Time. To provide this service, we acquired the DRAGEN bio-IT Processor developed by Edico which serves as the genomic computational engine for Baylor University, the HudsonAlpha Research Institute, Rady Children’s Hospital and Genewiz.
Processor speed is crucial for rapid turn-around, but accuracy is equally important. The DRAGEN can perform sequence alignment and variant calling in 40 minutes/genome versus 1-2days. Traditionally, genome sensors have to have a supercomputer with maybe a thousand nodes in order to do alignment and variant calling. DRAGEN, in contrast, is cost effective- with a relatively inexpensive server that can scale from hundreds to thousands of genomes. For example, because it can process a genome really quickly one does not need to store the very large BAM files. Genome centers can spend $1-10 million CAD/year on storage, DRAGEN cuts that substantially by not needing to store BAM files. The ARC team completed the installation and testing in January of 2017, we performed our first set of analyses this February, and plan to offer the service to researchers in April.