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Genetic factors influencing the course of a SARS-CoV-2 infection: epidemiologic investigation of peptide signatures, immunity, genetic predisposition, and alterations in SARS-CoV-2 (EPI-Dx)

Harmless, serious or even fatal: Which role do genetic factors play in the course of an infection with SARS-CoV-2? The EPI-Dx study currently being conducted by ATLAS Biolabs, in.vent Diagnostica and MicroDiscovery investigates this question which has so far remained unanswered.

The idea for this study was born at the DiagnostikNet|BB (Netzwerk Diagnostik Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) where companies regularly exchange information on life science topics. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, grant no. 03COV21. Coordinator of the study is Dr. Karsten R. Heidtke, head of the Bioinformatics and Research Department at ATLAS Biolabs.

During the EPI-Dx study, various clinical and molecular genetic parameters of 500 individuals will be examined. The particular research interest is on the membrane proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2. As shown by previous research results, they are essentially involved in the viral penetration into the host cell. Since the genetic makeup varies from person to person, this results in different phenotypic expressions, leading to individual courses of the disease with or without severe complications. Genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are also taken into account. A diagnostic panel will be developed based on the results of laboratory tests and bioinformatics analyses. This will allow evidence-based prognosis not only of the risk of contracting the COVID-19 disease, but also of its progression.

The use of high-performance sequencing and microarray technologies enables short-term scaling of the method and prompt screening of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, including their impact on the clinical course of an infection. Better understanding of individual characteristics leads to better understanding of epidemiological trends. Moreover, it can also provide promising approaches for personalised medicine and individually targeted patient care.

Thanks to their many years of expertise, the project partners ATLAS Biolabs, in.vent Diagnostica and MicroDiscovery are confident that they will be able to demonstrate the valuable know-how and capabilities of medium-sized biotech companies from the Berlin-Brandenburg region in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Expression analyses beyond the gene level

95% of human genes are alternatively spliced. Therefore, it is important to extend the scope of expression analyses beyond the information at gene level. With the Clariom D from Thermo Fisher Scientific/Affymetrix, ATLAS Biolabs offers an easy way to measure the expression level of individual exons. This allows the detection of all alternatively spliced transcript isoforms, even for weakly expressed genes.

Would you like to know more? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

16S Microbiome Special

As you have certainly noticed, microbial analyses are on everyone's lips at the moment. ATLAS Biolabs currently offers 16S microbiomic NGS analyses at a special discount. Our microbiome analyses are designed for soils, water cultures, microbiomes of humans, animals, pets, plants or other hosts.

Would you like to know more? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Annual Meeting of the AGD 2019 in Potsdam

Topic: Artificial intelligence meets genomics

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming today’s world. Deep learning already enhances diagnostics through automated image interpretation in medical specialties like dermatology, radiology, and pathology. The success stories of the recent months either worked on big medical data sets of large consortia or used smart ways of knowledge transfer to handle the challenge of sparse data in rare disorders. We would therefore like to discuss which pre-trained networks might be suitable for certain medical questions and how increasing the diversity of training data can improve performance. In this meeting we will provide a selection of exciting applications of a next-generation phenotyping technology, whose results can also be used for the interpretation of genetic variants. Further, we will explore the possibilities of deep learning on genomic data and will discuss how other life science areas are taking advantage of the new AI-based approaches.

Use the opportunity to meet ATLAS Biolabs at this exciting conference.