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President and Fellows of Harvard College Assigned Patent

Genetic data compression
By Francis Pelletier on 2017.01.10

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President and Fellows of Harvard College, Cambridge, MA, has been assigned a patent (9,519,650) developed by Lange, Christoph, Cambridge, MA, and Qiao, Dandi, Boston, MA, for a "systems and methods for genetic data compression."

The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: "Genetic data may be compressed efficiently by selecting for each bi-allelic marker, from among multiple compression algorithms with different associated storage requirements that depend on the minor allele frequency of the respective marker, the algorithm that has the lowest storage requirements. Efficient approaches compress, store, and load pedigree file data. A hybrid method is used that selects between multiple alternative compression algorithms whose performance depends on the frequency of certain observable genetic variations. The hybrid method may achieve higher compression ratios than PLINK or PBAT. Further, it results in a compressed data format that, generally, does not require any overhead memory space and CPU time for decompression, and, consequently, has shorter loading times for compressed files than the binary format in PLINK or PBAT. Moreover, the compressed data fonnat supports parallel loading of genetic information, which decreases the loading time by a factor of the number of parallel jobs."

The patent application was filed on July 6, 2012 (14/131,084).

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