Fast-Tracking Whole Genome Sequencing Research for Better Gene Detection

Fast-Tracking Whole Genome Sequencing Research for Better Gene Detection
September 11, 2018 Joel Lomman

Dr Lex Leong and the team from the South Australian Heath & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) are utilising eRSA technology to analyse and share whole genome sequencing research. 

Sounds serious right? Well that’s probably because it is! 

SAHMRI is South Australia’s first independent flagship health and medical research institute. Home to more than 600 medical researchers in Adelaide, they are working towards tackling the biggest health challenges that society faces today.

We have been working with SAHMRI researchers for some time now in several different research areas (see more stories), specifically in genome sequencing, an activity which produces huge amounts of data -(that’s where we come in). 

Recently, our work has led us into supporting this important and innovative research through whole genome sequencing in clinical diagnostic microbiology with Dr Lex Leong. Lex shared his thoughts on this project with us below.

“Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a promising new technology for clinical microbiology and routine diagnostic microbiology. The benefit of WGS is the increased bacterial strain characterisation and epidemiology. Due to the decreasing cost of sequencing, it is likely to replace traditional typing methods and resistance to gene detection in the future. Since genomics technologies are rapidly evolving there is a need for a standardised protocol for WGS to facilitate national and international interpretation of the genomic results.”

“In Australia, diagnostic laboratories across each jurisdiction have agreed on the employment of the ‘Nullarbor’ pipeline for downstream processing of the WGS results. The ‘Nullarbor’ is an automated pipeline for bacterial sequence mapping, variant calling, subtyping and resistance screening. With help from eRSA, the ‘Nullarbor’ pipeline has been implemented into the TANGO cluster for pathology laboratories and researchers in South Australia. This pipeline will enable pathology service providers and pathogen epidemiology researchers from the state to complete timely analysis of their clinical samples and share their findings nationally and internationally.”

The Nullabor project, although complex has been a rewarding one for us here at eRSA as we continue to support the advancement of research innovation in South Australia. 

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eRSA exists to support the advancement of research and innovation by providing market leading IT platforms and whole solutions to university research, government and business sectors in South Australia. By providing access to a suite of advanced technology solutions and services that are reliable, easy to use and secure, we enable all researchers to explore new and innovative research opportunities that would not otherwise be accessible.

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