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SandBlog News & Views

UCSC Genomics Institute Publishes Biomolecular Code of Wuhan Coronavirus

Genome Browser enables researchers worldwide to visualize the deadly virus and search for a cure

12 Feb 2020

Here's a link to an article at Santa Cruz Tech Beat about how the Genome Browser Project at UCSC is helping researchers visualize and understand the Coronavirus.

The Genome Browser team at the UCSC Genomics Institute has published the biomolecular code of the Coronavirus COVID-19, making it available to researchers across the globe for further analysis.

The pneumonia virus started in China’s industrial heartland and has forced the country to quarantine more than 50 million people as it struggles to limit the spread of the deadly disease.

Producing Raw Genetic Data from Virus Samples

Labs from around the world have forwarded raw data about the genetic code of the Coronavirus to the worldwide repository of genomic information at the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Bioinformatics in Bethesda, Maryland. The raw data consists of 29,903 nucleotides that make up the DNA and RNA molecules that form the foundation of life.

Visualizing the Virus with USCS’s Genome Browser Teams at the Genomic Institute at UCSC transformed the data from the National Center into a visual display of the Coronavirus and made it available in the Institute's Genome Browser so researchers can visualize its complexities over the Internet.

“What makes the Genome Browser so valuable is that it is so visual. It makes it very clear where everything is, so when people make interesting measurements about the genome in the virus, they can see what they’re looking at.” “When we display coronavirus data in the UCSC Genome Browser, it lets researchers look at the virus’ structure and more importantly work with it so they can research how they want to attack it.” Hiram Clawson, Genome Browser Engineer UCSC Genomic Institute

The Genome Browser enables researchers to zoom in and out of the genome — from its ten individual genes all the way down to its detailed base pairs. The Browser also lets users add notes so researchers from across the globe can share ideas and discoveries.

For more details, see this article at Santa Cruz Tech Beat.

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