June 7, 2020

Intercepting symbiomes

Intercepting pandemics through genomics

It makes sense:
There is an urgent need to establish a global, genomic-based biosurveillance platform, a developmentwhich would be of immense value to biosecurity, biodefense, and the economy. If implemented, this“pandemic interception system” would hugely advance our understanding of the natural world. Three major research programs are poised to support this effort: BIOSCAN, the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), and the Global Virome Project (GVP). Each of these global programs is now working to develop approaches in comparative genomics that are needed to discover all species and to reveal their interactions. The diversity of infectious agents involved in host–pathogen interactions needs immediate clarification, especially  with regard to those agents that transfect phylogenetically divergent lineages.
A pandemic interception system needs to be based on detailed knowledge of symbiomes, which are the constellations of organisms that interact with all multicellular species. Efforts to describe the structure of symbiomes are motivated by the fact that parasites, parasitoids, and microbes can devastate host populations, especially those that are evolutionarily naïve. Symbiome complexity is governed by rules.

Daido Moriyama