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Light-speed processor a world first for leading scientific instituion

The completion of project Genesys between Optalysys and the Earlham Insitute. From back left, EI's Dr Dan Mapleson, Optalysys chief executive Dr Nick New, EI's Stuart Catchpole, Optalysys chief commercial officer Emma Blaylock, Optalysys chief technology officer Robert Todd and Optalysys project manager Nicole Firth. Picture: Optalysys/EI

The completion of project Genesys between Optalysys and the Earlham Insitute. From back left, EI's Dr Dan Mapleson, Optalysys chief executive Dr Nick New, EI's Stuart Catchpole, Optalysys chief commercial officer Emma Blaylock, Optalysys chief technology officer Robert Todd and Optalysys project manager Nicole Firth. Picture: Optalysys/EI

Optalysys

A world-leading research institution has completed a £500,000 project with a start-up technology firm to analyse DNA using light-speed processing.

Optalysys chief executive Dr Nick New. Picture: OptalysysOptalysys chief executive Dr Nick New. Picture: Optalysys

The Earlham Institute (EI) and Optalysys have been working on the Genetic Search System (Genesys) project which has compared sequences of DNA code with enormous data sets to diagnose genetic faults or anomalies.

By using optical processing rather than silicon chips, which would require a super computer to achieve the same result, Optalysys has been able to reduce energy consumption of the process by 90%, and the technology has now been made available to institutions on a cloud-based platform.

Dr Daniel Mapleson, analysis pipelines project leader at EI, said genomic institutes were faced with more and more data, and it was “really exciting” that technologies like Optalysys could lower the cost and raise the speed of such processing.

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