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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Fighting SARS in the Post-Genomic Era

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has spread rapidly from its likely site of origin in Southern China to a large number of countries throughout the world. Initial symptoms of the disease include high fever, malaise, rigor, headache and a non-productive cough, and can later progress to generalised interstitial infiltrates in the lung, requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. The mortality rate among patients meeting the current case definition of SARS is approximately 15 per cent, while it can reach 50 per cent for patients who are 60 years of age or older (1). Epidemiological evidence suggests that the transmission of this newly emerging pathogen occurs mainly through close contact, although other routes of transmission cannot be excluded. At the time of writing more than 8,000 SARS cases had been diagnosed in 28 countries or regions, with the numbers still rising. At present, neither reliable early diagnosis nor efficacious treatment are available.

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By Professor Yike Guo, Technical Director of the Parallel Computing Centre and Head of the Data Mining Group of Imperial College, and Dr Wayne He, Director of SCBIT-IBM-InforSense Joint Laboratory of the Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology (SCBIT)

Professor Yike Guo (seated) is a leading researcher in Computing Science at Imperial College, London. He serves as Technical Director of the Parallel Computing Centre of Imperial College, and Head of the Data Mining Group of the university. Professor Guo is also the Founder and CEO of InforSense, a software company for life science informatics. His research focuses on parallel applications and network computing, including parallel data mining algorithms, distributed data mining systems, decision support systems and parallel symbolic computation. Professor Guo leads a large research group to develop new technology and software systems for large-scale integrated data analysis focusing on life science discovery.

Dr Wayne He (standing) is the director of SCBIT-IBM-InforSense Joint Laboratory of the Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology (SCBIT). Before joining SCBIT, he was a Senior Biomedical Engineer at Incyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc where he led the development of LifeSeq Gold online. Dr He received his PhD in Biochemistry from Imperial College, London, and was a visiting scientist at the University of California at Berkeley before joining Incyte.

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Professor Yike Guo
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Dr Wayne He
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