New, fast sequencing process uses online databases to ID new viruses

blood
Credit: U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos

In 2009, two teenagers in the Democratic Republic of Congo showed up at their village health clinic, vomiting and with blood in their noses and mouths — hemorrhagic symptoms of the notorious Ebola viruses. In three days they were dead.

It can take weeks or months to identify a novel virus, and much longer if the sample must be sent to a specialized lab. Such lags are too long, says virologist Charles Chiu, director of the Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center at the University of California in San Francisco.

Chiu and his colleagues have found a way to speed up virus identification — a method they hope will one day help health care workers in remote areas rapidly identify new viruses, as long as they are able to access the Web.

Read the full, original story here: Rapid Sequencing Method Can Identify New Viruses Within Hours

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