May 19, 2011 | Brigitte Raumann

I think I can speak for most biologists when I say I never thought I would be worrying about file transfer.  Compute power, yes.  Storage space, maybe.  But file transfer?  Never. Unlike some other scientific disciplines, biology is not a traditionally ‘big data’ science.  Generally, biologists produce data on the scale suited to e-mail attachments.  However, seemingly overnight, biology has been propelled into the ranks of the big data sciences.  Now a biologist can easily find herself confronted with terabytes of data.  Why the change?  The answer lies in the recent quantum leaps in DNA sequencing technology.