The Lambert Ancient and Modern DNA Sequence collection

The Lambert Ancient and Modern DNA Sequence collection

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About the project

QRIScloud is helping Professor David Lambert of Griffith University’s Environmental Futures Centre to solve a real dilemma: what do you do with the 50TB of DNA sequence data you’re expecting when it comes back from the sequence lab on hard disks? Where will you put it so you can work with it?

Professor Lambert and his team, in partnership with the Beijing Genomics Institute, are looking at the question of how animals will respond to climate change. The Antarctic climate has warmed by around ten degrees Celsius in the 18,000 years since the last ice age. Professor Lambert plans to compare the genes of ancient and modern Antarctic Adélie penguins in order to identify which genes have changed over time and therefore how these penguins have adapted to climate change. This will provide clues as to how animals will respond to future climate change.

They collected samples during their field research – from modern birds and from frozen bone deposits of ancient ones. They sent the DNA to the lab for sequencing and prepared to be deluged by terabytes of data on hard disks.
In order to conduct the genome-wide study, Professor Lambert would need the infrastructure to store and analyse the data. He approached Griffith University’s eResearch Services team with the problem. They thought this would be a good candidate for RDSI storage, so they put Professor Lambert in touch with Andrew White, QRIScloud National Relationship Manager at QCIF.

Andrew realised QRIScloud and RDSI would be a good fit, and he helped Lambert with the merit allocation process through QCIF. The data collection will represent some of the only population genomic sequence data and analyses of same-species modern and ancient DNA samples in the world. “It’s exciting because they had a real dilemma that QRIScloud has been able to help them with,” White said.

The data will be embargoed until Lambert’s team completes their study and then will be made available to other researchers. DNA from ancient and modern Sacred Ibis and from ancient and modern Aboriginal Australians, collected by Lambert’s team for other studies, will also be added to the collection.

Published in Case Studies
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