MySQL in Biotechnology

MySQL in Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a research-intensive industry that generates huge volumes of data in its quest to detect diseases early, develop new therapeutics, and find innovative treatments. Biotech organizations rely on mission-critical applications and devices to not only power their research and development but also to reduce operating costs, decrease time to market, and help them quickly respond to compliance and security mandates. In order to deliver these benefits, almost all biotech software and device vendors (biotech ISVs / OEMs) rely on an embedded database to perform their products' most common tasks: data capture, analysis, and management. Therefore, the selection of the right database is critical to the success of these biotech applications, and the research institutes and corporations that rely on them.

"Thus far we have collected about 2 million sequencing reads, or about 1TB of raw sequence data. The MySQL Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database is central to our sequencing process. Its schema contains 115 tables, 1,171 fields and 195 foreign keys."
Martin Krzywinski and Yaron Butterfield, in Linux Journal article
Bioinformatics Research Scientists
Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

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MySQL has been adopted for the data management and analysis in critical genomic and proteomics research projects at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, and the Sanger Institute. In addition, human genome sequences available on the Internet have been built entirely using MySQL.

MySQL delivers the capabilities and benefits that are most important in biotech applications, including:

  • High Performance enabling biotech applications to capture extremely high volumes of data. This provides researchers the ability to do more granular analysis, and to easily manage accelerating data growth.
  • Reduced COGS and Improved Profitability by using a highly cost efficient database that allows vendors to offer biotech products at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions. MySQL's lower costs provide margin flexibility, so pricing can be more easily set to appeal to price-sensitive educational and governmental institutions.
  • Multi-Platform Support MySQL supports over 20 platforms making it ideal for the biotech application providers who may be targeting governmental, educational, and/or commercial organizations. Platform flexibility helps extend the size of an application's addressable market.
  • Ease of Installation, Configuration and Use so biotech organizations needn't be database experts to get a complete solution up and running quickly using an out-of-the box configuration.
  • Zero Administration so the biotech institute or organization doesn't have to hire-in costly database administration skills to maintain the database, which is particularly valuable for smaller institutions that often lack full-time IT support.
  • High Reliability so all of the data is captured at all times to meet regulatory requirements and to ensure researchers have the sufficient data for their analysis, and from which to draw statistically significant conclusions.

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"MySQL is easy to install and maintain, and it doesn't require a DBA to manage."

—Dr. David Harper, Senior computer programmer
Pathogen Group - Sanger Institute