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UK Biobank launches researcher credits programme and adds new analysis tools to the Research Analysis Platform

Researcher credits programme launched and new analysis tools available in the UK Biobank RAP

UK Biobank has today launched a new programme to make Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credits available through the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform (RAP).

Courtesy of AWS, UK Biobank is able to provide up to $500,000 of credits per year ($1.5 million in aggregate) to early career researchers and researchers from low and low-middle income countries on approved projects. Credits can be used exclusively within UK Biobank’s Research Analysis Platform to offset the cost of compute analysis and data storage. UK Biobank is committed to democratising access to its research platform and this credits programme will support a greater number of researchers to access and analyse available datasets to enable discoveries that improve human health. For further details, please refer to more information here.

The UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform has been built in partnership with DNAnexus and exponentially increases the scale and accessibility of the world’s largest and most comprehensive biomedical database for researchers around the world to advance understanding of human disease. Enabled by DNAnexus technology and powered by AWS, the platform provides approved researchers with the ability to access and analyse over 10 petabytes of data in the UK Biobank resource from anywhere in the world. Use of the RAP is rapidly growing with more than 1,200 researchers accessing the cloud platform worldwide. An online community has been established for researchers to ask questions and share best practice.

Further enhancements continue to be made to the UK Biobank RAP, including today’s significant release of new genetic data analysis tools. In collaboration with DNAnexus, the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) and NVIDIA, researchers will be able to access the entirety of the bioinformatics workflow used by RGC as part of the UK Biobank Whole Exome Sequencing project.

RGC sequenced and analysed 450,000 exomes in the UK Biobank database using a bioinformatics protocol comprising entirely of open-source tools, including BWA-MEM, GLnexus and Google’s DeepVariant. The scale and speed of this analysis (20,000 samples/week) was enabled by NVIDIA Clara Parabricks (GPU-accelerated software) running on the DNAnexus platform. These tools are now being provided to researchers through the UK Biobank RAP with a free 6 month trial licence to NVIDIA Clara Parabricks. It will enable all UK Biobank researchers the opportunity to fully harmonise their own data, at any scale, with the UK Biobank exome data.

Further details can be found in the documentation that accompanies these tools within the UK Biobank RAP, and researchers are invited to join a webinar on the 17th February where details of the workflow, its specification and use will be covered in detail.

 

 

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Webinar: Accelerating Time to Discovery with Whole Exome Sequencing on UK Biobank’s Research Analysis Platform

Date: 17th February 2022

Description:  UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource containing in-depth genetic and health information from half a million UK participants, is holding this webinar with DNAnexus, the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) and NVIDIA to discuss the recent exome sequencing project, the commitment to practical equitable data access, and the DNAnexus developed UKB Research Analysis Platform.

UK Biobank undergoes ongoing data collection, coupled with linkage to electronic health records, that has generated over 800,000 data files and more than 10 million variants. RGC rapidly sequenced and analysed 450,000 UK Biobank exomes, using a bioinformatics protocol comprising entirely open-source tools including BWA-MEM, GLnexus, and Google’ DeepVariant. The scale and speed of this analysis (20,000 samples/week) was enabled by GPU-accelerated secondary analysis tool NVIDIA Clara Parabricks running Google’s DeepVariant, and by the DNAnexus platform. As part of the data release, UK Biobank, NVIDIA, RGC, and DNAnexus are collaborating to provide the entirety of this workflow to all users of the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform.

In this webinar, UK Biobank, RGC, NVIDIA & DNAnexus will review the exact analysis pipeline used to quickly generate the 450,000 reference data set, and are offering UK Biobank researchers a free 6 month trial license to NVIDIA Clara Parabricks to help them replicate this accelerated workflow. The webinar goal is both to provide an overview of this analysis pipeline and to enable all UK Biobank researchers the opportunity to fully harmonize their own data, at any scale, with the UK Biobank exome data.

Register here