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DNAstack Launches COVID-19 Beacon to Accelerate Sharing Genomic Data in the Fight Against Novel Coronavirus

TORONTO, March 20, 2020 /CNW/ - DNAstack today introduced a Beacon for SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as COVID-19, available at covid-19.dnastack.com. This beacon will enable the scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of the virus in real time.
COVID-19 has quickly become a global pandemic, with more than 209,800 confirmed cases and 8,770 deaths in 168 countries to date. Analysis of the viral genomes, combined with clinical and epidemiological data, can track whether the virus is changing and how it is being transmitted, and potentially identify targets for diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines."There is an urgent need to respond to this virus in a coordinated way and we urge researchers and clinicians worldwide to openly share genetic and other biological data to fight COVID-19," said Marc Fiume, CEO of DNAstack. "What we know about the virus is changing hourly as researchers and clinicians accumulate and analyze data. At DNAstack, we are looking to deploy our technologies for biomedical data access, discovery, and analysis to support researchers investigating the virus, starting with Beacon. The COVID-19 Beacon will allow information about genetic variants to be shared instantly using software that follows an open international standard."Researchers can use the new Beacon to discover sequences with specific genetic mutations and map their geographic and evolutionary origins. The platform integrates derivative data from genetic sequencing libraries such as GISAID and links to Nextstrain pathogen evolution visualizations. Sharing genomic information over a cloud-based global network has the potential to improve our knowledge at a speed and scale that isn't otherwise possible, and inform new ways to fight the virus.DNAstack's effort to build foundational software for collaborative biomedical research has been stimulated through its membership in the Digital Technology Supercluster, a cross-industry collaboration of diverse organizations that aims to position Canada as a global leader in digital technologies while solving industry's and society's most challenging problems.
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