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Searching Through the Ebola Genome

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have made an Ebola genome browser available, the university has announced.

The newly minted UCSC Ebola Genome Portal links to the new browser, which aligns five Ebola and two Marburg virus strains. In particular, the UCSC researchers have aligned 148 individual viral genomes, including more than a hundred from the ongoing outbreak in West Africa.

The university says the browser may enable researchers worldwide to study the viral genome and how it changes in their bid to end the current epidemic.

"Ebola has been one of my biggest fears ever since I learned about it in my first microbiology class in 1997," UCSC's Jim Kent says in a statement. "We need a heroic worldwide effort to contain Ebola. Making an informatics resource like the genome browser for Ebola researchers is the least we could do."