Article: Why some researchers oppose unrestricted sharing of coronavirus data

Access, Document, Open Decision-Support, Research

Why some researchers oppose unrestricted sharing of coronavirus data

“I was up all last night,” says Nnaemeka Ndodo, a molecular bioengineer at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja. He sequences coronavirus genomes during the day, and then analyses and uploads the results to an online database at night, working tirelessly alongside his colleagues. “We don’t know Saturday, we don’t know Sunday,” he says.

Researchers around the world are racing to spot variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 so that they can determine whether the mutated viruses will evade vaccines or make COVID-19 deadlier. Like many scientists, Ndodo shares SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences in a popular data repository, GISAID, that requires users to sign in and to credit those whose data they analyse.

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Article: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu

Cures, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu

No one needs a reminder that this flu season was one of the worst in recent years. Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control suggests it may have been worse than the 2009 season, when the swine flu pandemic strain swept the country.

The good news, however, is that digital data is helping researchers and public health organizations provide more timely predictions about the spread of the flu and assessments of seasons in progress. The advantage is that public health officials no longer have to wait for a Monday-morning quarterback approach to flu season, but can stay on top of its spread as it happens.

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