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Cancer Collaboration

While in Australia, US Vice President Joe Biden announced a deal to share data obtained from Australian patients with researchers worldwide, the Australian Associated Press reports. Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer a year ago, is overseeing the Cancer Moonshot initiative in the US.

For this deal, three memorandums of understanding were signed with both Australian state and federal governments to enable 50,000 Australian and 8,000 US cancer patients will have their genetic data shared with researchers, the AAP says. According to the Australian, Biden noted that computing advances are pushing the field forward.

"[We're] using supercomputing power to find answers that we don't have right now," Biden said, as part of the opening of the new $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Melbourne. "We're going to be able to share patient histories and proteogenomics and clinical phenotypes, data of various proteins and genetic characteristics, of almost 60,000 patients in Australia and the United States, with full privacy protections."

He added that he almost wishes that they hadn't called the US initiative a 'moonshot.'

"It really is more like the Manhattan Project, it really is about collaboration in a way that hasn't happened before," Biden said.