Navigation Links
Crowdsourcing to kickstart comeback from ash dieback
Date:12/13/2012

On Friday scientists from The Sainsbury Laboratory and the John Innes Centre will publish the first RNA sequence data on the ash dieback fungus causing an epidemic of disease.

They will release the data via a website to a system designed for "social coding" of software. The system, called GitHub, was also used to crowdsource expertise during the 2011 E. coli epidemic in Germany.

Experts from around the world will be able to access the RNA sequence and start to analyse it immediately, speeding up the process of discovery. It will also allow live peer review of analysis, helping produce more accurate findings more quickly.

"Bringing together knowledge and data through technologically-oriented social media is one of the most vital steps in beginning to understand this outbreak," said Dr Dan MacLean of The Sainsbury Laboratory, a research centre focused on the science of plant-microbe interactions.

"The tiny amount of data we have so far is already suggesting interesting insights and we want others to start poring over it straight away," said Professor Sophien Kamoun, head of The Sainsbury Laboratory.

Drs Diane Saunders and Kentaro Yoshida from The Sainsbury Laboratory took cuttings of infected ash in Ashwellthorpe wood in Norfolk, where the fungus was first identified in the natural environment in the UK. They sampled pith from the twig, extracted RNA and sequenced it.

The sequence data is a mixture of both ash and fungus so one of the first jobs through the crowdsourcing exercise will be to search it against existing sequence databases and sort it out. They have already identified a sizeable proportion of fungal RNA, some of which appears to code for toxin proteins.

"By looking at what genes are expressed at this time of year when the fungus is active in the woody tissue of ash, we might be able to home in on genes that enable it to spread so rapidly," said Professor Allan Downie from the John Innes Centre, an institute strategically funded by the BBSRC.

"You need to know your enemy before you can start to come up with solutions and this work will enable us to do that," said Dr Joan Webber from the Forestry Commission's Forest Research agency, which is a research partner in the project.

In the longer term, the scientists hope to be able to discover how the fungus causes disease, where it originated from, how it spread to the UK and how different strains are related.

The GitHub system allows contributions from other scientists to be attributed and tracked. Scientists would normally withhold sequence data until they have carried out an analysis and had a paper accepted for publication in a scientific journal.

"Crowdsourcing will give us access to the expertise of many more people," said Professor Kamoun.

"It will speed up analysis and, through live peer review, it will speed up how that analysis is checked and then corroborated or rejected."


'/>"/>

Contact: Zoe Dunford
zoe.dunford@nbi.ac.uk
07-768-164-185
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/14/2017)... N.C. , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake Forest ... M.D., as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Freischlag ... CEO John D. McConnell , M.D., who last ... position at the Medical Center, after leading it since ... the full scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic health ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Feb 10, 2017 Research and ... "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to ... ... Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment as ... detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a ... results for its quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. ... was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 million in the same ... 2016 was $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million in the ... of 2016 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... , ... The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) strongly opposes the proposed ... fiscal year 2018 budget request. , This proposal calls for a ... roughly 20% of its total budget. If applied proportionally across NIH, funding for the ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals ... innovative therapeutics that address significant unmet medical needs, ... Chief Business Officer, will present at the 5th ... will provide a platform to present to and ... leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... ... March 20, 2017 , ... ... and biotech companies, recently announced it will debut a brand new pressure vessel, ... The intelliVessel is controlled by a touch screen panel and features other revolutionary ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , ... March 20, 2017 , ... The fourth annual ... while innovating to make an extraordinary impact on peoples’ lives, launches today. Sponsored by ... challenge every 5 weeks and awards thousands in cash prizes to engineers, inventors and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: