Skip to main content

Belgian Genomics Centers Link up in New National Network

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Seven universities and institutes in Belgium have teamed up to create a network to support the nation's genomics research endeavors, filling a need for greater sharing of technologies and expertise, one of the partners, KU Leuven, said this week.

Along with KU Leuven, the new Belgian Genomics Initiative (BeMGI) includes partners in Antwerp and Ghent, and at The Catholic University of Leuven, the University of Liege, and both the French (ULB) and Dutch-speaking (VUB) universities that share the same name in English, the Free University of Brussels.

"There is the need for streamlined technical development across the various centres in Belgium," Gert Matthijs, a professor in the Department of Human Genetics and head of the laboratory for molecular diagnosis at KU Leuven, said in a statement.

"Genome analysis requires powerful and expensive equipment, and new developments in the field happen quickly. It is important to be able to share technology, especially bioinformatics technology. Cooperation can also occur on a clinical level – via genome comparisons, for instance," Matthijs said.

He added that the BeMGI network partners will aim to develop a "national consensus" on the ethical, legal, and social questions that confront the genomics fields. Developing a consensus on a number of issues related to genetic testing and other technologies could help inform the government, which makes decisions related to these matters, such as whether to reimburse genetics tests, Matthijs explained.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.