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Labs Partner With CDC on Federal Coronavirus Study

Labs Partner With CDC on Federal Coronavirus Study
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2020 09:37 AM EDT

A new study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will look into how the coronavirus spread throughout the country.

Named Spheres, which stands for Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance, the initiative announced Thursday will bring together at least 75 public health, academic and commercial institutions to study the coronavirus genome, The New York Times reports.

The goal is to trace transmission of the virus, look into outbreaks and track how the virus is evolving, which could impact how a cure is ultimately found. 

Participating labs have agreed to release any findings to the public quickly in order to help provide relevant information to scientists working on possible treatments and vaccines. 

Scientist Pavitra Roychoudhury is participating in the program through her involvement with the University of Washington’s virology department and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

She told The New York Times the project actually launched in early April and already has “made a tangible impact in the number of sequences we’re able to deposit and make publicly available on a daily basis.”

She told the newspaper the program allows researchers across the country to share information in a standardized way. 

“We’ve been sharing what we’ve learned” with others in the consortium, she said.

Dr. Roychoudhury said the group was having conversations about how it could present the data in a way that helps “researchers around the world who may want to use it to design vaccines and therapies.”

The U.S. has not announced a budget for Spheres. The United Kingdom allocated $25 million for a similar program and Canada agreed to pay $40 million for a sequencing effort. 

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US
A new study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will look into how the coronavirus spread throughout the country.
cdc, coronavirus, genome, labs, scientists
275
2020-37-01
Friday, 01 May 2020 09:37 AM
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