Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Broad Testing

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ("Broad Institute"), a leading biomedical research institute based in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, became an important SARS-CoV-2 reference lab as of March 24, 2020.  Here is how Boston National Public Radio station, WBUR, described Broad's rapid arrival on the testing scene:
The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT began processing coronavirus tests Tuesday, and has the capacity to run more than 1,000 diagnostic tests daily. 
On Monday [March 23, 2020], the Broad ran 100 test samples from the [Massachusetts] state Department of Public Health through its robotic high-throughput system, and completed them successfully.
The Broad Institute's Genomic Platform is a natural candidate to help process SARS-CoV-2 tests rapidly and accurately, because, as its website explains,
Over the past ten years, The Genomics Platform has been the largest producer of human genomic information in the world. Currently, the group produces approximately 500 terabases of genomic data per month — a rate equivalent to one 30X human whole genome every 10 minutes. The group has processed more than 2 million samples from more than 1,400 groups in more than 50 countries.
As of March 24, 2020, according to Mapping Scientific Excellence, the Broad Institute has the highest "Best Paper Rate" of any scientific institute in the world.  In these challenging times, the best humanity can muster against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is its best science, so the Broad Institute is a powerful ally.