CRS4 immediately accepted the request of the Administrations addressed to research institutes to focus their efforts on combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Scientific expertise, computing and massive sequencing infrastructure were soon made available to the international scientific community. Collaborations with international organizations responsible for setting clinical standards were set up and, in addition, initiatives and projects involved in the social issues that emerged during the pandemic were supported.
On the front line to combat the crisis caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus
Artificial intelligence • Massive Sequencing • High Performance Computing
The CRS4's expertise in Artificial Intelligence has been used in a project funded by Regione Lombardia, in collaboration with the Ospedale Luigi Sacco, Neosperience, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Mikamai and LoopTribe. In the DIMASDIA project, two predictive models have been developed to support the diagnosis and prognosis of Covid-19-related diseases by classifying sequences of echo-cardiographic images and chest X-rays using deep learning techniques: the tests show over 90% diagnostic accuracy.
The CRS4's Next Generation Sequencing platform, the computing resources and the professionalism of the researchers are used to carry out research projects to address the Covid-19 emergency, in collaboration with highly qualified partners, including the University of Cagliari, the University of Sassari, the Azienda Tutela della Salute and Sardegna Ricerche.
The new-generation sequencing platform is directly linked to the Center's computational resources and, with a production capacity of 7.7 terabases per month, makes CRS4 one of the most important Italian sequencing centres. This synergy, unique in Italy, makes it possible to carry out large-scale sequencing projects, from data production to analysis.
The NGS platform, already used in several projects, including complete sequencing of human genomes, transcriptomics, metagenomics, identification of DNA binding sites of chromatin and regulatory proteins, exome and target region sequencing, is currently involved in projects promoted by Sardegna Ricerche within the SR4CoViD Research Incentive Programme: in the Cargen4CoV and Varia4CoV projects, the genetic characterisation of the virus circulating in Sardinia is being studied; in the Ngs4CoV project, a strategy has been developed to improve performance, increase sensitivity and reduce costs in the analysis of a large number of biological samples; with Epitopes4CoV, specific antibodies against Coronavirus NL63 are being studied to verify their efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in different types of patients. In the Rna4CoV project, expertise in biotechnology was provided for the development of a portable electronic sensor for the simultaneous and continuous screening of several people.
CRS4 experienced people
engaged in projects
Viral RNA bases to be processed by our NGS platform in the
Time of use in bioinformatics applications of our HPC platform (reference year: 2020)
Diagnostic accuracy of our machine learning model with predictive capabilities
Within the openEHR community, one of the main international organisations for the definition of standards for interoperability in health informatics, CRS4 participates in the COVID-19 Project to the translation and adaptation of computational models for the Italian context to improve diagnosis and treatment tools. These models are released in open source and are available in the official repository of the community, the Clinical Knowledge Manager.
In order to safeguard the didactic value of the laboratory experience that was lost during the pandemic, within the IDEA project, CRS4 proposes RIALE (Remote Intelligent Access to Lab Experment). This distance learning platform allows students to communicate with researchers during laboratory activities, and offers them tools for collaboration and remote control of instruments.
CRS4 supports the Ad Adiuvandum Solidarity Network in a prevention project which, through serological tests, is carrying out extensive screening of the people most at risk.
Next Generation Sequencing
THE NGS PLATFORM IS AVAILABLE TO THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY FOR PROJECTS AGAINST COVID-19
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PROJECTS AGAINST COVID-19
Ubiquitous Digital Platform is a set of decision support tools for the management and coordination of logistics in the territory, especially in emergency situations.
CRS4 News & Press Review
BY-COVID: A new project aims to make COVID-19 data accessible. CRS4 works together 52 partners from 20 countries
CRS4 contributes to the international openEHR COVID-19 project
COVID-19: CRS4 massive sequencing facility available for studies on SARS-CoV-2
CRS4 participates in the DIMASDIA-COVID19 project