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Indian Biological Data Centre

  • 15 Nov 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

Recently, government has set up ‘Indian Biological Data Bank’ at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB), Faridabad.

  • Indian Biological Data Bank is better known as ‘Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC)’.

What is IBDC?

  • About:
    • IBDC is the first national repository for life science data in India, where the data will not only be submitted from across India but can be accessed by researchers from across India
    • It is mandated to archive all life science data in IBDC generated from publicly funded research in India.
    • The data center is supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
    • It is being established at the RCB in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Bhubaneshwar.
    • It costed around 85 crore rupees to be set up.
  • Key Features:
    • The digitised data will be stored on a four-petabyte supercomputer called ‘Brahm’.
      • A petabyte equals 10,00,000 gigabytes (gb).
    • Different sections of IBDC would typically deal with particular type(s) of life science data.
      • Each IBDC section would have dedicated data submission and access schema.
    • IBDC has a backup data ‘Disaster Recovery’ site at NIC.
    • Further, IBDC shall also develop highly curated data sets in order to facilitate knowledge discovery in various domains of life sciences.
    • It would also provide infrastructure and expertise for biological data analysis.
    • It currently accepts nucleotide sequences — the digitised genetic makeup of humans, plants, animals, and microbes.
      • There are now 200 billion base pair data in the bio-bank, including 200 human genomes sequenced under the ‘1,000 Genome Project’, which is an international effort to map the genetic variations in people.
        • The project will also focus on populations that are predisposed to certain diseases.
      • It will also help researchers in studying zoonotic diseases.
    • Although the database currently only accepts such genomic sequences, it is likely to expand later to storage of protein sequences and imaging data such as copies of Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Objectives:
    • Provide IT platform for perpetually archiving biological data in the country.
    • Development of standard operating Procedures (SOPs) for storing and sharing the data as per FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Principle.
    • Perform quality control, curation/annotation of data, data backup and management of data life cycle.
    • Development of web-based tools/Application Programming Interface (API) for data sharing/retrieval.
    • Organization of training programs on ‘Big’ data analysis and benefits of data sharing.
  • Data Access:
    • IBDC would have majorly two data access types:
      • Open access/time-release access: Data submitted at IBDC would be freely accessible across the globe as per international open-access standards. The submitter, however, may choose to restrict the data access for a defined period of time.
      • Restricted access: The data would not be made accessible freely. It can only be accessed through prior permission through IBDC from the original data submitter.
  • Significance:
    • It will reduce the dependency of Indian researchers on American and European data banks.
    • It will not only provide a platform to researchers to securely store their data within the country, it will also provide access to a large database of indigenous sequences for analyses.
      • Such databases have traditionally played a key role in determining the genetic basis of various diseases and finding targets for vaccines and therapeutics.

Source: IE

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