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IISc: Viral genome sequencing lab established in Bengaluru

BENGALURU: The Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) has recently established a viral genome sequencing lab at its Centre for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) in Bengaluru. The viral genome sequencing lab will deeply focus on studies which will be related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including constant supervision and tracking of virus mutations and variants, said IISc.

For approximately a year the IISc CIDR has been working with the state and central government in providing COVID RT PCR diagnostic services and research that involve covid-19 virus, it further said.

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This facility is going to be a crucial addition to the CIDR that will enhance the ongoing efforts to better understand SARS-CoV-2 virus evolution and its impact on our health, an IISc statement said.

“The expanded Viral BSL3 facility will support research on assessment of virulence and cross-reactive immunity of SARS-CoV-2 mutants and variants of concern in cell culture and animal models”, IISc said. IISc Director Professor Govindan Rangarajan, said: “The Viral Genome Sequencing Lab will contribute not only towards tackling the threat that COVID-19 poses, but will also ensure that we are ready to handle future health emergencies as well.”

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A member of the CryptoRelief core volunteer team said: “The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been evolving over time. Understanding the new variants that are coming up and whether existing vaccines can combat these variants is important. Through this support, we intend to take a step towards that.” CryptoRelief is a community-run fund mobilising to help India combat the COVID-19 crisis and to help it prepare for future outbreaks. The fund was started by Sandeep Nailwal (co-founder, Polygon) and has since been supported by Vitalik Buterin (co-founder, Ethereum) and Balaji S. Srinivasan (former CTO at Coinbase), it was stated.

On Sunday, the viral genome sequencing lab was inaugrated by the team of crypto relief core volunteers in the sight of Deans and faculty members of IISc.

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