David Patterson said a standard DNA sequencer can take up to 24 hours to run. “It’s surprising for me to see programs where the unit of time is hours,” he said.
Patterson spoke about a recent case where a boy in Wisconsin was suffering from a mysterious illness that had him trapped in a coma for weeks with brain swelling. He was sent to the University of California, San Francisco, where doctors worked with Patterson and AMPLab to process a sample of his DNA using SNAP. In about 90 minutes, the computer had isolated all the human elements, leaving just the .02 percent that wasn’t. It belonged to a rare bacterium, which was treated immediately.