Geneticist and entrepreneur J. Craig Venter has hired Franz Josef Och, the leading man at Google Translate, to help decrypt multitudes of human genomes, as the Chief Data Scientist at Human Longevity, Inc.
Venter who played a key role pushing the Human Genome project forward, said, “I basically did a search and tracked down the person who led the Google Translate effort, which I see as similar to the challenges we face with genomics.”
Franz Josef Och the leading Research Scientist with the Machine Translation team at Google, now as part of Human Longevity, will help in devising quicker and easier methods to analyse the large volume of data generated through sequencing. Human Longevity Inc. was founded by Venter earlier this year to carry out the largest sequencing effort ever attempted, at first sequencing 40,000 human genomes a year and eventually hiking it up to 100,000 a year.
In Venter’s own words, “The six billion letters of the genome represents one of the biggest translation issues ever.” This sums up the enormous task at hand for Venter, Och and HLI. Och believes that an understanding of such a massive database may lead to better knowledge of the aging process which in turn might help increase the healthy human lifespan.
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