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Genetic Testing Has a Data Problem. New Software Can Help.


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Artist's representation of DNA.

Purdue University researchers have developed a tool designed to process data too large to fit on a computer's main memory at one time.

Credit: Family Tree magazine

Researchers at Purdue University have developed TeraPCA, a new tool designed to process data too large to fit on a computer's main memory at one time. Rather, the system analyzes large datasets by reading small chunks of it at a time.

The new program reduces the time by making approximations of the top principal components; rounding to three or four decimal places produces results just as accurate as the original numbers would.

In addition, the timing for TeraPCA was improved by utilizing several threads of computation, known as "multithreading."

Compared to FlashPCA2, TeraPCA performs similarly or better on a single thread and significantly better with multithreading, according to the researchers.

From Purdue University News
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