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More ‘Omics for SARS-CoV-2, Insights into the Spike Protein, Crowdsourcing Questions: COVID-19 Updates

TODAY | Bio-IT World | A Canadian team shares a new mechanism of action for remdesivir, data science groups have computed consensomes (gene expression in the virus) and interactomes (potential molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis) and cryoEM images the spike protein. Plus, NIH funding for new vaccines and the Reliable Response Data Discovery consortium takes COVID-19 patient data questions.

Ecological Modeling Of Gut Microbiome Points To Probiotic Cures

| Bio-IT World Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), the idea of using fecal material from a healthy person to treat others who are sick, has been proposed for challenging conditions ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to autism and obesity. But to date, robust evidence from randomized clinical trials exists only for the use of FMT to treat recurrent C. difficile infection.

The Role of Data Management in Advancing Biology


Bio-IT World Kjiersten Fagnan had a plan: she would be an engineer, work for a company, and write software all day. But biology is intriguing and now Fagnan is the Chief Informatics Officer at the Joint Genome Institute. She recently spoke with Stan Gloss, founding partner at the BioTeam, about the community challenges around creating and sharing more useful data, and how “human engineering” can help advance biology.

Sticky Webs, A Tiny Molecular Weapon, Obesity Paradox N/A: COVID-19 Updates

| Bio-IT World New drug targets, reconstructing viral spread and lineage, monitoring mutations, reasons to focus on T-cell responses, DNA webs as culprits of tissue damage, a very tiny neutralizing agent, explaining paradoxical risk in people with obesity and diabetes, and the value of heparan. Plus, a new vaccine candidate heading to human trials, coronaviruses are being profiled, and a deep dive on how SARS-CoV-2 weakens the immune system.

Targeted Protein Degradation: Why Just Inhibit What Can Be Destroyed?

| Bio-IT World Disease treatment through targeted protein degradation takes a range of approaches: from small molecules similar to thalidomide that act as “molecular glue” degraders to more advanced “beyond rule of 5” proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) with bifunctional moieties that encourage protein interaction with its E3 ubiquitin ligase.

Continuous Software Validation Critical for Balancing Digital Transformation and Compliance

| Bio-IT World  The adoption of cloud technology in the life science industry has become increasingly pervasive as firms move forward with digital transformation initiatives aimed at creating operational efficiencies and delivering the next wave of biomedical innovations. As a result, cloud vendors are playing a more important role than ever before, especially for life sciences companies that produce FDA-regulated products.

VAST Data Launches LightSpeed Storage Architecture

| Bio-IT World VAST Data has launched its next generation storage architecture, LightSpeed, which combines the light-touch of VAST’s simple NAS appliance experience with leadership-class performance for GPU-based and AI Processor-based computing, taking the guesswork and configuration out of scaling up AI infrastructure.

Follow the Money: Alzheimer’s Meds, Single Cell Multi-Omics Technology

| Bio-IT World NIH contracts to explore radiation countermeasures, Alzheimer’s medication, and convalescent plasma, Mission Bio gets $70M for single cell multi-omics technology, and more.

No Cytokine Storm, ‘Bursty’ Disease Spread: Biomarkers For Elevated Risk: COVID-19 Updates

| Bio-IT World  | Japanese researchers argue there is no cytokine storm, computer-designed protective proteins, ELISA test for antibodies, COVID-19’s impact on Black and Hispanic communities, a “burstier” model of disease spread, and new biomarkers for elevated risk. Plus, the International Vaccine Institute preps with Gates money, 3M funds vaccine researcher, and more.

Beyond the Rule of 5: Vastly Expanding Targetable Drugs

| Bio-IT World | At the Drug Discovery Chemistry Virtual conference, researchers from industry and academia provide a glimpse into the expanse of pharmaceuticals available beyond Lipinski’s Rule of 5, an endeavor that will hopefully enable the development of much more specific agents with vastly expanded targetable options.

Computational Tool Could Improve Clinical Success Rate Of Drugs

| Bio-IT World  A newly developed translatable components regression (TransComp-R) model, developed by researchers from Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), recently identified an overlooked biological mechanism possibly responsible for resistance to the drug infliximab commonly prescribed to patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Mouse Models, Machine Learning, Triggering Proteins: COVID-19 Updates

| Bio-IT World   A potential new screening approach, improving immune response to vaccines, new mouse models of SARS-CoV-2, exploring ACE2 receptor activity, a protein that may trigger blood clots, the importance of placenta tissue, hopeful signs that a single vaccine can do the job, and a bioengineering technique to boost production of proteins that prompt antibody development. Plus, machine learning to help identify drug combinations that can be repurposed as potential therapies.

Phil Baran on the Quest to Make Chemistry Boring Again

| Bio-IT World | Phil Baran of Scripps Research is dedicated to simplifying chemical synthesis, not to create techniques that are “gimmicky” but will instead become the standard processes of the future. Maybe, “fifty years from now,” he predicts, “we’ll look back in curiosity at chemists of our age who had stages in their syntheses instead of making everything in 1-3 steps.”

Truth Challenge v2: Latest Challenge Results From Genome In A Bottle

| Bio-IT World  PrecisionFDA and The Genome in a Bottle (GIAB) consortium have announced the results of the Truth Challenge V2: Calling Variants from Short and Long Reads in Difficult-to-Map Regions such as segmental duplications, and the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC).

A Virtual Feast: A Preview of Bio-IT World 2020


Bio-IT World  The 2020 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo Virtual includes three days full of content, networking, and interaction across 16 tracks, plenary session, workshops, posters, awards, and happy hours. And for the first time ever, many presentations will be available on demand after their first showing. We are already building our agenda.  


Racial Impacts of COVID-19, Neutralizing Antibodies, More


Bio-IT World | Racial segregation of COVID-19 is following HIV patterns, more data on neutralizing antibodies, four months of data from Italy's use of hydroxychloroquine, and a computer model for school launches. Plus, an award from the UK government for vaccine development. 

UK Biobank Contracts With DNAnexus, AWS to Build Data Analysis Platform

| Bio-IT World  UK Biobank, a long-term study of health data from 500,000 UK volunteers, announced today that it is developing its own cloud-based Data Analysis Platform to make its extensive medical data available to a broader range of researchers around the world. Funding for the Data Analysis Platform has come from Wellcome, and it will be developed over the next three years by DNAnexus in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Vertiv, Pure Storage, And More: News From August 2020

| Bio-IT World   August featured exciting new, products, and partnerships from around the bio-IT community from innovating companies, organizations, and universities, including Vertiv, Pure Storage, and more.

Beetle Viruses, Nitrate Supplements, Missing Sense of Smell: COVID-19 Updates

| Bio-IT World | How a beetle virus is informing SARS-CoV-2 research, plus nitrate supplementation for aid breathing, new small molecules active against the virus, and a theory for why COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell. Plus, $9.8 million from DOD for vaccine research and virus-like particles for vaccine development.

Combined Monogenic, Polygenic Risk Scores Could Change Medical Understanding of Disease


Bio-IT World | In a paper published today in Nature Communications, IBM and the Broad Institute reported the first results of their collaboration to develop predictive models for cardiovascular disease.