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SAIC-Frederick, Fluidigm Collaborate to Decode Epstein-Barr Virus Genome

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – SAIC-Frederick and Fluidigm today announced a collaboration to decode the entire genome of the Epstein-Barr virus.

Under the partnership, SAIC-Frederick researchers at the Core Genotyping Facility will use the Fluidigm Access Array system to target and amplify the genome of EBV DNA virus. After targeting and amplification, the DNA can be processed through next-generation sequencing equipment "that decodes the DNA's chemical sequence in sufficient depth to illuminate key genetic variations," SAIC said in a statement.

Some of the sequences have already been decoded and can be further studied, it added.

SAIC-Frederick is the prime contractor for the National Cancer Institute's R&D facility in Frederick, Md. The collaboration with Fluidigm is part of the NCI Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative.

Herpes-related EBV is one of the most common viruses in humans. Though the virus establishes viruses that are typically asymptomatic, in rare cases it can lead to diseases, including some cancers. Understanding the virus at the genetic level should shed light on why some patients become ill but others don't, which in turn could lead to better treatments, SAIC said.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.