New Coronascape device will assist unlock big-data insights for COVID-19

New Coronascape tool will help unlock big-data insights for COVID-19

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (blue) closely contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink), remoted from a affected person pattern. Image captured on the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute right now introduced they’ve launched Coronascape (, a personalized model of the Metascape bioinformatics platform that removes big-data evaluation hurdles for biologists. Coronascape will allow scientists to interpret the rising physique of huge information associated to COVID-19. More than 23,000 papers about COVID-19 have been revealed since January 2020—and this quantity continues to rise exponentially.

“A significant number of publications on SARS-CoV-2 contain large-scale OMICs data, which is not readily interpretable and actionable by many researchers, creating a big-data bottleneck,” says Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., director of the Immunity and Pathogenesis Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys and senior member of the Metascape staff. “Coronascape provides a central clearinghouse for scientists to laser-focus their OMICs analysis and data-mining efforts to find effective drug targets, therapies and vaccines for COVID-19.”

Large-scale research that map the entire genes, proteins, RNA and extra that underlie a organic system—known as OMICs research—are commonplace instruments for a contemporary biologist. However, deciphering these big-data outputs to generate significant, actionable data is way from routine.

“Analyzing results from OMICs studies requires sophisticated tools and highly trained computational scientists,” explains Yingyao Zhou, Ph.D., director of knowledge science and information engineering on the GNF, and lead architect of the Metascape platform. “These efforts can be costly and time intensive even for experts—taking anywhere from days to weeks to generate actionable information.”

Metascape was launched in 2019 by scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys, GNF and UC San Diego. The open-access, web-based portal integrates greater than 40 superior bioinformatics information sources to permit nontechnical customers to generate insights in a single click on. To date, Metascape has facilitated the evaluation of enormous OMICs datasets in more than 1,200 revealed scientific research.

“Metascape provides biologists with a platform from which they can access the power of numerous analytical tools—all within a simple interface—and generate easy-to-interpret reports,” explains Lars Pache, Ph.D., analysis assistant professor within the Chanda lab at Sanford Burnham Prebys. “Removing data-analysis barriers for the ever-growing body of SARS-CoV-2 OMICs data released by the worldwide scientific community allows researchers to spend more time on important biological questions surrounding COVID-19, and less time building and troubleshooting a data-analysis workflow.”

“The power of this technology is that you can take a 30,000-foot view of a biological system,” says Christopher Benner, Ph.D., professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Metascape staff member. “Our initial analysis of independently derived OMICs datasets for COVID-19 have already identified numerous common threads. When results from scientists in different parts of the world align, then you can start to believe that what you are seeing is true—and move forward.”

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New Coronascape device will assist unlock big-data insights for COVID-19 (2020, September 17)
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