New Indian Express: CCMB’s web app gives peek into one thousand plus coronavirus genomes. “As India crossed the milestone of sequencing 1,000 genomes of SARS-CoV-2, Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has come out with an interactive web app named Genome Evolution Analysis Resource for COVID-19 (GEAR-19). GEAR-2019 gives an interesting peek into the outcome of efforts put in by scientists and researchers from 33 contributing laboratories across the country, for sequencing 1,031 genomes of SARS-CoV-2.”
Newswise: UCSC Genome Browser posts the coronavirus genome. “Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly ‘coronavirus’ that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country’s dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute’s Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers all over the world to use.”
News Medical: Genome reference database can help predict disease-linked gene variants more accurately. “Most diseases have a genetic component. To better understand disease, researchers led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research are analysing genetic information to determine what keeps us healthy. In a world first, the team has compiled a genome reference database of thousands of healthy older Australians, which has the potential to predict disease-linked gene variants more accurately than has been previously possible.”
Science: Chinese researchers reveal draft genome of virus implicated in Wuhan pneumonia outbreak. “Scientists worried about China’s lack of transparency about a month-old outbreak of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan breathed a sigh of relief today, after a consortium of researchers published a draft genome of the newly discovered coronavirus suspected of causing the outbreak.”
University of California Davis: Hobbyist DNA Services May Be Open to Genetic Hacking. “… Professor Graham Coop and postdoctoral researcher Michael ‘Doc’ Edge at the University of California, Davis, Department of Evolution and Ecology warn that these ‘direct to consumer’ services could be vulnerable to a sort of genetic hacking. By uploading selected DNA sequences, they said, it may be possible, for example, to pull out the genomes of most people in a database or to identify people with genetic variants associated with specific traits such as Alzheimer’s disease. “
National Institutes of Health: Five Petabytes of Sequence Read Archive Data Now in the Cloud. “The National Center for Biomedical Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) recently moved the five petabytes of public SRA data to the cloud with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative. These data include a variety of genomes, gene expression data, and more.”
BioRxiv: SGID: a comprehensive and interactive database of the silkworm. “Although the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori) is an important model and economic animal, there is a lack of comprehensive database for this organism. Here, we developed the silkworm genome informatics database, SGID. It aims to bring together all silkworm related biological data and provide an interactive platform for gene inquiry and analysis. The function annotation in SGID is thorough and covers 98% of the silkworm genes.”
The Hindu: ‘India-specific cancer genome database being developed’. “The Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, is developing India-specific cancer genome database that will help identify biomarkers specific to the Indian population. This will help in early diagnosis, and also identify drug targets for the Indian population.”
University of Southern California: Tackling Lack of Diversity in Genetics Research. “Genotyping, or determining which genetic variants an individual possesses, has paved the way for understanding how common variations in our DNA can be associated with health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. The hope is to determine your risk of developing a disease and, hopefully, prevent it. But if you’re not white, the science may fall short.”
Quartz: Everyday people can now map their genomes and maybe keep their privacy. “For the first time, a company is offering a direct-to-consumer tool that can map out a person’s entire genome. The service, which is run by Nebula Genomics, is a double-edged sword, though. On the one hand it can help a person search through a broad array of their genetic code to find disease-related genes. On the other, the company faces the herculean task of carefully walking the ethical line around keeping people’s data private.”
ScienceDaily: Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species . “An international consortium of scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all known eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth.” Holy mackerel.
Phys.org: New genomic tool searches wheat’s wild past to improve crops of the future. “A new genetic directory launched today will enable researchers and breeders to scan the genomes of wild relatives of modern wheat to find disease-fighting properties lost to domestication. The time-travelling trawl is possible following the launch of the Open Wild Wheat, a directory which includes the genetic sequences of 150 wild wheats belonging to a goat grass species called Aegilops tauschii ssp. strangulata. This wild relative, found in the fertile crescent round the Caspian sea, has contributed the D genome pillar, one of the three genomes found in bread wheat.”
Sixth Tone: China to Build Gene Database for Diagnosing Rare Diseases. “China launched its first major project aimed at diagnosing rare children’s diseases on Saturday. The country’s pediatric experts will use a technique called whole genome sequencing (WGS) to begin building a database of rare and undiagnosed conditions, including mental disorders and physical deformities.”
Stanford: Database allows physicians to tailor prescriptions to complement an individual’s genome. “The database is a website that, through careful curation, collects information to help researchers, doctors and patients understand the intersection of genes and drugs, a field of study known as pharmacogenomics. Visitors to the site will find detailed information about molecular drug structures, metabolic pathways, and perhaps most valuably, specific genes that have the potential to influence how certain medications function in the body. Currently, the website…highlights about 5,500 genetic variants that affect the activity of 600 drugs.”
The Hindu: IIT-M in process of creating India-specific cancer genome database. “IIT-Madras is in the process of creating an India-specific cancer genome database aimed at early detection and development of better treatment strategy for the disease. The National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB), a first of its kind community-based initiative in the country, is collecting cancer tissues from Indian patients ‘to generate a cancer genome database which was not available so far.'” IIT-M is Indian Institute of Technology Madras.