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.