The analysis of this genetic data helps researchers expand the understanding of the biology of diseases that affect Singaporeans.  

A new study – said to be the largest whole genome sequencing analysis of a diverse Asian population to date – provides valuable insights into the genetic diversity of the varied ethnicity makeup of Singapore’s population. The work is a major stepping stone toward more accurate diagnosis of genetic diseases, advancing research and guiding prevention and targeted therapeutic intervention for chronic diseases.

The study, which is the pilot study of the SG10K project, contains the completely sequenced genomic information of close to 5,000 Singaporeans. The research findings in the paper, “Large-scale whole-genome sequencing of three diverse Asian populations in Singapore”, were published in the scientific journal, Cell, on 17 October 2019. The analysis of the genomic information was done with the aid of the ASPIRE1 petascale supercomputer at the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore.

“Our primary analytics pipelines for joint-calling 4,810 genomes would not have been possible without the supercomputing resources,” said Dr Nicolas Bertin, Programme Manager for National Precision Medicine at A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore. “The success of this project was heavily reliant on access to NSCC resources and as such ensured data and results were delivered on schedule”.

The study was a collaboration among scientists and clinicians from A*STAR’s GIS, National University Health System (NUHS), Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), National University Hospital (NUH), SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

To give a scale of some of the supercomputing resources needed, the SG10K pilot project leveraged on nearly 3 million core CPU hours and 1PB of storage provided by NSCC.

 

NSCC NewsBytes November 2019

*Image credit: Gloria Fuentes – The Visual Thinker LLP

Other Case Studies

Safely using hydrogen as a fuel

NUS researchers leveraging supercomputing to explore hydrogen combustion inhibition methods in order to prevent hazards from occurring. In recent years, hydrogen fuel has...

Peeking into the lenses of tropical jumping spiders

Researchers at NUS are tapping HPC resources to gain a deeper understanding on the visual systems of jumping spiders in order to discover how species adapt and diversify. Visual...

Harnessing supercomputers to correct quantum errors

Researchers at SUTD and Yale-NUS are tapping HPC resources to study the occurrence of errors in quantum computations and devise models to better correct errors. A quantum...