— This article originally appeared in the LA Times on 29 June 2013. —
Earlier this month, researchers and advocates from 40 countries formed a global alliance to enable the secure sharing of genomic and clinical data, aiming to end the era in which only the people who collected your genetic data had access to it.
Efforts to collect and organize massive amounts of genetic data have up to now been led by the British government, Kaiser Permanente, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and by private companies. But with the new global alliance, it seems likely that genetic data collected by your doctor will one day be made widely available in the cloud, for researchers around the world to analyze. This has tremendous potential for science and medicine.