The software, termed “Myrna” was funded in part by Amazon Web Services (in addition to the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health) was, not surprisingly, making use of compute resources from Amazon. In order to test Myrna, researchers rented time and storage resources from AWS and were able to realize solid performance and cost savings. According to the study's authors, “Myrna calculated differential expression from 1.1 billion RNA sequences reads in less than two hours at a cost of about $66.”
Myrna is a cloud computing tool for calculating differential gene expression in large RNA-seq datasets. Myrna uses Bowtie for short read alignment and R/Bioconductor for interval calculations, normalization, and statistical testing. These tools are combined in an automatic, parallel pipeline that runs in the cloud (Elastic MapReduce in this case) on a local Hadoop cluster, or on a single computer, exploiting multiple computers and CPUs wherever possible.