Turning 1,600 iPhones of Data into Targeted Treatments

Griffin shooting darts

Your donations support Logan Spector, PhD, who is currently a co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant called Genetic Risk Factors for Ewing Sarcoma. The research he’s doing could help doctors detect Ewing sarcoma early on, increasing patients’ chances of survival or prevent the cancer entirely.

In collaboration with the University of Utah, the investigators are collecting DNA from Ewing sarcoma patients worldwide through the Children’s Oncology Group to find genetic markers for the disease.

The information they have acquired so far is immense, but thanks to a new supplement from Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Program, the amount of data is about to get far larger.

Instead of one million genetic variants across the genome, which they initially anticipated gathering, they will have three billion base pairs (i.e., a DNA “letter”).

Each genome is about 100 gigabytes of data, meaning that the entire dataset would fill about 1,600 iPhones.

As soon as the data is ready in the spring, they will begin the massive effort of combing through nearly one thousand whole genomes to identify the specific variants that cause Ewing sarcoma.

After finding the causes Ewing sarcoma, scientists can more easily find targeted treatments to defeat the disease.