Your Healthy Family

Jun 16, 2014 7:39 PM by Annie Snead, NBC

Your Healthy Family: Autism Data on Google Cloud


Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism advocacy group, has recently teamed up with Google to bring large amounts of data to the Cloud.
News 5 spoke with a local therapist about this new research.
Soon the Google Cloud platform will store ten thousand DNA samples taken from people with autism and their families.
One genome has the same amount of data as one hundred full-length movies, so clearly a large storage system is needed.
"What they're looking for is genomes. They're looking for a genetic pattern to identify if a child would more susceptible to autism," said April Christopherson, the director of occupational therapy at the Shandy Clinic in Colorado Springs.
She works with children to improve their motor skills, including those with autism.
She says there are a lot of different levels of autism, along with different levels of functioning.
"Autism Speaks is an amazing group and if they can pair with Google Cloud and speed up the research that's coming out, that's going to be a win for everybody," said Christopherson.
The new collaboration will make it easier for researchers to access information and advocates say results should be quick within the next two years.
"We are going to open up the ability for researches from all over the world to come in and actually use Google tools in Google's Cloud to work on projects related to autism with this data," said Bob Wright with Autism Speaks, Former CEO of NBC Universal.
The more information gathered just means better understanding of the disorder.
"I think that by having more data in the data base about the genetic markers and the genomes and different predispositions - is really going to help our overall care of the children in the population of autism," said Christopherson.
Experts hope this project will lead to discovering various types of autism, and eventually lead to new treatments for the condition.

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