“Your download will be complete in 43,800 hours” is what the device communicated. When the Sheba Cancer Research Center (SCRC) wanted to transfer 300 terabytes of data from the US National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Genomics (CCG)Genomic Data Commons (GDC) in Chicago to local storage to advance their research, they thought the process would be relatively straightforward.

Committed to getting the data, Dr. Eran Eyal, SCRC’s Head of Bioinformatics, and his team started to think outside the box. Way outside the box. “We asked the Sheba IT department and commercial ISPs for advice,” says Eran. “But neither had a workable solution. We even explored the option of traveling from Israel to the Chicago NIH facility with digital storage devices in our suitcases to physically bring the data back to Israel. But the cost of airfare, accommodation, and the time was too high. And the NIH team had also never come across a lab that wanted to do that.” It was the GDC portal team that led them to seek advice from the Inter-University Computation Center (IUCC), Israel’s National Research & Education National Research & Education Network (NREN).

Curious to read more? Read the full story on the In The Field blog.