How Precision Medicine, Genomics Research is Decoding COVID-19

Authors:  Jessica Kent

Studies have sought to discover why the disease affects some individuals more severely than others, how communities can reduce the spread of infection, and which states or cities will likely see a surge of new cases.

A critical feature of this research – and the key to achieving an enhanced understanding of the virus – is the field of precision medicine and genomics. In order to treat COVID-19, healthcare professionals first have to know how the virus operates, as well as who is most likely to experience negative outcomes from the disease.

To answer these questions, researchers have doubled down on their precision medicine efforts. Recently, the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics (SAPPT) announced the funding of three projects that will aim to accelerate treatments for COVID-19.

One project will examine the role of a specific protein in COVID-19 and how it is potentially impacting individual responses to the virus. The team will initially study the role of the protein as a link to greater mortality rates for individuals with underlying cardiovascular conditions.

Although the project will focus on COVID-19, the research also has implications for other diseases.

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COVID-19 Open Research Dataset

Full-text and metadata dataset of COVID-19 and coronavirus-related scholarly articles optimized for machine readability and made available for use by the global research community.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Allen Institute for AI has partnered with leading research groups to prepare and distribute the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). This dataset is a free resource of over 47,000 scholarly articles, including over 36,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses for use by the global research community.

This dataset mobilizes researchers to apply recent advances in natural language processing to generate new insights in support of the fight against this infectious disease.

The corpus may be updated as new research is published in peer-reviewed publications and archival services like bioRxivmedRxiv, and others.

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Genomics & Precision Medicine

Authors: CDC Blogs Merline Feero, Marta Gwinn, and Muin J. Khoury, Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Tracking the Scientific Literature on SARS-CoV-2 Variants Using the COVID-19 Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base

The first reports of SARS-CoV-2, the highly infectious virus causing COVID-19, swept across the globe in December 2019, prompting a burst of scientific activity. The rate of research and discovery intensified as the pandemic grew, resulting in a flood of publications in journals and on preprint servers around the world. More recently, SARS-CoV-2 variants have become a major focus of SARS-CoV-2 research in basic, clinical, and public health sciences.

CDC’s Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health established the COVID-19 Genomics and Precision Health (COVID-19 GPH) database to capture publications that reflect the influence of two broad emerging technologies: genomics (pathogen and human), and precision health (machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics). Together, these fields are the leading edge of precision public health in COVID-19 and beyond. Data are continuously updated from PubMed, the NIH iSearch COVID-19 Portfolio, LitCovid, and media sources using an automatic retrieval and text mining strategy3 and manual curation by CDC staff.

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