As someone who uses sequence data for most of my research, I am continually happy with the fact that sequencing continues to get cheaper and easier and faster and bigger and better and more and more and more. Along with such continued advances, sharing the data produced by such sequencing has become somewhat challenging at times. A few years ago, Morgan Langille, who was a post doc in my lab at the time, proposed the use of BitTorrent file sharing tools for sharing biological data, such as sequence data. He called the system for this “Biotorrents” and built some tools associated with the idea. For more about this, see:
- our PLOS One paper on this here
- a blog post I wrote about Biotorrents
- a compilation of information about Biotorrents
But alas, Morgan got one of those faculty job things, and, well, keeping up with the idea and the service was not easy.
Thus I am glad someone else has picked up the BitTorrent for Biology torch: BMC Bioinformatics | Abstract | BitTorious: global controlled genomics data publication, research and archiving via BitTorrent extensions. Not sure how well this will work or how many people will use it, but it seems to me that there are many possible benefits from BitTorrent that still could be explored for biology.