[Beowulf] Southampton's RPi cluster is cool but too many cables?

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Tue Sep 25 07:02:46 PDT 2012


> Talking about Raspberry Pi, I saw this mentioned on a Pi forum:
>
> http://www.gizmag.com/minion-disposable-dna-sequencer/21513/

talk about non-sequitur!

> Woudl anyone want to comment? What impact wlll a $900 sequencer have?

I'm not sure price or accessibility is what holds back DNA today.
you'll still have to do some glassware/reagent stuff to feed that 
micropore device.  and having a sequence doesn't do you that much
good (you can't just diff against some canonical sequence and print
off a mutation report...)  further, understanding what particular 
sequences _do_ is still very time/labor consuming.

as an HPC thing, I suppose cheaper/more widespread sequencing will 
increase storage needs, though to be honest, sequences themselves are 
not particularly large (say .5G raw data from the device lifespan.)

socially, I suppose there will be Gattica-like applications,
but getting real value from these devices will be tricky.
(just consider that expression is what really counts, 
and the sequence doesn't give you that...)


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