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Secure genomic information compression

Total activity: 16
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
150.040,00 €
Start date
End date
The objectives of the project are the specification, design, implementation and validation of an optimal compression system for genomic
information that guarantees security and privacy.
On the one hand, we try to solve the problem of the excessive size of the genomic information currently generated and its lack of security.
On the other hand, we try to take benefit of an international standardization work that has started, in which we are already involved and we
have a first analysis, which gives us the right environment to work on our goals.
The proposed project is interdisciplinary in nature. Since we want to compress and protect genomic information, we need knowledge of
both security & compression and structure & processing of the specific information that we will handle. Subproject 1 is responsible for the
design of new algorithms and compression formats and new mechanisms to enhance privacy and security of genomic information.
Subproject 2 will contribute to the validation of algorithms and mechanisms developed and will apply its experience in analysis of genomic
information to get the best optimization algorithms and specified mechanisms.
The main objectives of subproject 1 include therefore the development of security mechanisms and privacy in genomic data formats and
compression algorithms for such information. We expect that these results will be part of the new standards that for this purpose have
been initiated in the MPEG committee in ISO/IEC. Furthermore, we will analyze other related standards in case we need to contribute to
them. Finally, standardization activities will be promoted at national level on genomic information in order to inform companies and
research centers so they could influence the standard with its requirements.
With regard to subproject 2, we will generate datasets for benchmarking that are representative of actual genomic data, and we will
benchmark the strategies proposed in subproject 1. We will also analyze the possibilities of using the same type of data structure for
compression and analysis, facilitating analysis directly on compressed data. Also, interfaces will be generated to enable interaction with
software commonly used in genomics. Finally, the strategies developed in subproject 1 will be adapted to the needs of the European
Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA), as a use case.
We are aware that the objectives are at risk, and have already defined contingency plans, especially if the standard is not proceeding as
planned and our proposals are not considered in its entirety.
A non-negligible impact of the project has to do with standards. The project IP is one of the two co-chairs of the group that is leading the
international standardization of a secure and compressed format for genomic data (the MPEG committee in ISO/IEC, or ISO/IEC JTC1
SC29/WG11). This responsibility puts the project in a privileged position from the point of view of the Spanish science and industry, since it
can serve as a bridge between standardization and the Spanish scientific and industrial interests, and can facilitate their influence. Without
this project we could not influence the standard and the opportunity to place ourselves at the forefront of these new technologies would be
Compresión, Compression, Estandarización, Genoma, Genome, HL7, Health, MPEG, Privacidad, Privacy, Salud, Security, Seguridad, Standardization
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Resoluton year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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