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Ronin and AWS team up to map Tasmanian devil genome

Forms part of AWS Public Dataset Program

Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner Ronin has been tapped by the University of Sydney to help create a gene data base of one of Australia's most endangered animals.

The university has used the global cloud giant since 2016, but turned to Ronin, an AWS select consulting  partner, to help compute a Tasmanian devil conservation project.

Researchers used Canberra-based independent software vendor (ISVs) Ronin’s web application to process, analyse, and categorise the animal's genome data to build a picture of the location of its specific genes.

According to the university, the animal's population has been depleted by 80 per cent due to bushfires and facial cancer.

The data will be used to provide Tasmania-based conservation managers with scientific information and insights on how best to protect the species, AWS claimed. 

“The University of Sydney’s Tasmanian Devil Genome project is a great example of how Australian researchers are using cloud technology and open data, to share insights with the global academic community to accelerate research outcomes,” said Iain Rouse, AWS country director for Public Sector in Australia and New Zealand.

“This combination of technologies helps the university to process, analyse, and categorise its data to build insights and in doing so, help solve some of the biggest community and environmental issues in the world.”

Project leader Dr Carolyn Hogg said she hoped the project would lead to the creation of a “universal genomic library” 

“That’s why the AWS Public Dataset Program can be so valuable in so many fields of study,” she added. “These tools help us to bring the worlds of academia and conservation management closer together than ever before. And when we prove an idea works – it can go global.”

AWS, with partners Qrious and Fronde, is also working with the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DoC) to help conserve the Kakapo and the Kiwi.