DNAnexus, Broad institute to make data available on Ebola genome sequencing

The Ebola virus
The Ebola virus | Courtesy of the CDC
DNAnexus will be cooperating with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in order to provide data analysis relating to the Ebola virus and the sequencing of its genome, they announced on Thursday.

DNAnexus provides a platform to deliver the bioinformatics data collected by the Broad Institute; according to the announcement, this system is currently in use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, to analyze samples from this outbreak. With this partnership, the information will be available globally.

"The Broad Institute’s bioinformatics pipeline on the DNAnexus platform is a model for how co-development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) bioinformatics pipelines and cloud-based services for infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response can inform public health efforts, shorten outbreak timespans and save lives," CEO of DNAnexus Richard Daley said. "Our hope is that real-time genomic sequencing and analysis of Ebola genomes from the field in Africa immediately available to researchers across the globe can not only provide insight into how the outbreak likely originated, but track the evolutionary rate of the virus over time to make predictions about candidate vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics."

The current outbreak that has been ongoing in West Africa since December of 2013 and is considered to be the largest known epidemic of the Ebola virus since its discovery in 1976. The World Health Organization reports over 26,000 documented cases and 11,017 deaths have been attributed to the Ebola virus disease outbreak.

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