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Dr. Wang gave a lecture on Next generation sequencing for virus discovery and beyond
Huang Yichen
Update time: 2015-03-13
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On 10 Mar, 2015, Dr. Wang gave a lecture on Next generation sequencing for virus discovery and beyond in Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (SIBET). 

Dr. Wang Hui is currently a Senior Research Fellow in Genomics, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. His research areas are on applications of next generation sequencing (NGS), molecular biology, virology, molecular parasitology, immunology, vector biology, pathogen-vector-host interactions, molecular ecology and evolution, live cell based biosensor. 

There are approximately 5000 viral (species) reference genomes available in the public database, whereas an estimate of the total viral species in the planet is in the range of 100 million including approximately 300,000 unknown species infecting mammals. Such a huge knowledge gap makes our strategies against viral diseases, passive and in many cases, inefficient. The next generation sequencing (NGS) technology now offers a new capacity to make significant progress. The metagenomics approach has been proven to be powerful for disease etiology and pathogen discovery. However, information gathering practice for viruses has not been routinely applied in genomics studies. In many research projects, sequence reads are firstly mapped against the reference genome(s) of interested (host) species and unmapped reads were no longer included in further analyses. Because NGS unselectively produces sequences of both the hosts and viruses infecting them, the NGS data sets are valuable resources for virus identification and discovery. In addition to a consensus sequence that conventional sequencing produces, an NGS dataset often enables further investigation on polymorphisms of viral genome positions. As NGS can easily achieve a deep coverage of a virus genome, NGS datasets offer new opportunities to investigate the viral population structure and dynamics. It has been well demonstrated that many viruses have large populations with quasi-species characteristics. The structure and dynamics of viral quasi-species are an important factor for assessing viral threats of emerging diseases as well as for developing efficient strategies of anti-viral treatments. Due to the wide range of viral infections, exploitation of the new NGS opportunities will benefit not only the basic research of virology but also a much wider research community and beyond.  (Editor: Shi Lingling)


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