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TGAC Nets UK Award to Develop Bioinformatics Tool to ID Viruses

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Researchers led by a team at the UK's Genome Analysis Centre have been awarded £307,411 ($495,615) to develop computational algorithms that can accurately assemble viral genomes contained within metagenomic samples, TGAC said today.

With the award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and led by TGAC Project Leader Richard Leggett, the three-year project will aim to demonstrate the value of the bioinformatics tool to be developed by testing it against real datasets from species that are expected to host a variety of viruses, including a set of African rodent samples. The samples will be provided by TGAC's collaborators, led by Pablo Murcia at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research.

The metagenomic samples that will be investigated are especially challenging to researchers because while they contain numerous viral samples, it is difficult to precisely locate which species are present, TGAC said in a statement.

"We hope the work will equip researchers who are looking at a wide range of viral infections, including those affecting humans and agriculturally important livestock," Leggett said in a statement.