Round-the-clock work on new Ebola genome browser
by Guy Lasnier
UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute releases bioinformatic tool to assist vaccine efforts
The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute Tuesday (September 30, 2014) released a new Ebola genome browser to assist global efforts to develop a vaccine and antiserum to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus.
The team led by UC Santa Cruz researcher Jim Kent worked around the clock for the past week, communicating with international partners to gather and present the most current data. The Ebola virus browser aligns five strains of Ebola with two strains of the related Marburg virus. Within these strains, Kent and other members of the UC Santa Cruz Genome Browser team have aligned 148 individual viral genomes, including 102 from the current West Africa outbreak.
UC Santa Cruz has established the UCSC Ebola Genome Portal, with links to the new Ebola genome browser as well as links to all the relevant scientific literature on the virus.
“Ebola has been one of my biggest fears ever since I learned about it in my first microbiology class in 1997,” said Kent, who 14 years ago created the first working draft of the human genome. “We need a heroic worldwide effort to contain Ebola. Making an informatics resource like the genome browser for Ebola researchers is the least we could do.”
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