The battlefront between Amazon and Google covers a diverse range of fields, from online search and advertising, to smartphones and shopping. Increasingly, genomics is emerging as another hotspot, with both companies scrambling to establish themselves as the place to store and analyze DNA data.
Amazon is the latest tech giant to consider expanding into healthcare, but details of the online retailer's plans are sketchy.
When Y Combinator expanded into biotech, the startup incubator was effectively betting on the idea that IT has narrowed the gap between timelines and economics in life sciences and tech. The Wall Street Journal is the latest publication to profile the scene, picking out a batch of companies with similar models and ambitions to those featured by TechCrunch and FierceBiotechIT earlier this year.
Having invested in data analytics platforms in recent years, pharma R&D labs are working to develop the drugs that will justify their spending. But the experience of Merck suggests the costs can be spread across the business, with manufacturing teams finding the data analytics tools as useful as their peers in R&D do.
The scale of genomics sequencing projects continues to grow rapidly. Just as the 1,000 Genomes Project once dwarfed the Human Genome Project, now an initiative involving Amazon, Baylor College of Medicine and DNAnexus has surpassed both of them, generating 430 terabytes of data in the process.
Google has upped its cloud-computing game with enhancements that rival Amazon's and could give customers more opportunities to tap cloud computing.
Amazon has revealed a new cloud-based service called Glacier for archiving large amounts data on the cheap.
At AstraZeneca ($AZN), scientists can search a virtual research exchange to shop for services from contract research groups in a similar fashion to browsing an online marketplace such as Amazon.com ($AMZN).
Eager to expand its computing power in a jiffy, the biotech Numerate has integrated its drug discovery technology with Google's ($GOOG) new cloud-computing platform. The San Bruno, CA-based company says it is one of just several partners using the Google Compute Engine, which the Internet giant announced last week would be available in a limited release.
Amazon's late March deal with Uncle Sam to host a huge dataset of genomes has made waves in the technology world, as it marks yet another advance in the use of cloud computing to corral massive amounts of scientific data.