The COVID-19 pandemic continues spreading in the world. To help international researchers access resources and tools for SARS-CoV-2 sequence analysis, the Global Biodiversity and Health Big Data Alliance (BHBD), one of the ANSO Associations, held a webinar COVID-19 resources on December 4th, 2020. Prof. Jinghua Cao, Executive Director of the ANSO Secretariat, and over 30 researchers from China, Brazil, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, and Thailand participated in the online meeting.
Prof. Jinghua Cao introduced the quick actions and response that ANSO took as a newly established international science organization in the joint combating. ANSO shared the best Chinese practices in the prevention and control, genomic data, testing kits, and support and bridging of international cooperation in the research and development of diagnostic kits, drugs, and vaccines with the ANSO members and partners.
Prof. Yiming Bao, Chairperson of the BHBD Council from Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Center for Bioinformation (CNCB), hosted the webinar. He gave a comprehensive presentation on the functions and features of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource (2019nCoVR) developed by CNCB, and called for international visit, access, and data sharing. Dr. Shuhui Song from CNCB reported the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Pakistan from the genomic view, based on the genome sequencing results of 150 local samples in Pakistan. Dr. Zhenglin Du from CNCB introduced the Coronavirus Online Analysis Platform based on the viral genomes collected in 2019nCoVR, which provides free online analysis services for all researchers without login requirement. The function of the current viral haplotype network in 2019nCoVR was also demonstrated by the developer, which is an interactive data visualization tool integrating the genome variation information from available high-quality genome sequences across the world.
Prof. Amir Abbasi from Quaid-i-Azam University of Pakistan reported the research progress of the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing project in collaboration with CNCB. Experts from other organizations also shared the information about the COVID-19 pandemic in their own countries.
All attendants highly appreciated the efforts of ANSO and BHBD to fight against COVID-19 and expressed the willingness to enhance international cooperation and sharing of COVID-19 resources to fight against the pandemic in the whole world.
BHBD is an academic network aiming at promoting biodiversity and health big data sharing, under the framework of “Open Biodiversity and Health Big Data Initiative” by the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS). BHBD has become one of the ANSO Associations since 2020.