March 17, 2016
Our collaborators at the O’Connor Lab (University of Wisconsin-Madison) are making headlines for releasing real-time data via LabKey Server to help accelerate Zika virus research. Recently featured in the Nature article “Zika researchers release real-time data on viral infection study in monkeys,” Dave O’Connor and his team are being applauded for making their research available so quickly.
“O’Connor’s team is to be lauded for their efforts to make their Zika virus data publicly available as soon as possible,” says Nathan Yozwiak, a senior scientist in Pardis Sabeti’s laboratory [computational geneticist at the Broad Institute and Harvard University in Cambridge] “Distributing up-to-date information — in this case, animal model data — as widely and openly as possible is critical during emergencies such as Zika, where relatively little is known about its pathogenesis, yet public concerns and attention are so high.”
The O’Connor lab uses LabKey Server to manage their extensive list of experiments, Illumina sequencing data, purchases, oligonucleotides, freezer samples, and other lab inventory, as well as to provide basic electronic lab notebook (ELN) functionality. To make their LabKey Server data public, the O’Connor lab simply had to update the study permissions.
“It was easy for the ZEST members to make their online lab notebook open to all, O’Connor says. The team uses the biomedical-research collaboration system LabKey Server, as does the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in Madison, which is where many of the ZEST collaborators work and which (along with the US National Institutes of Health) is supporting the research. Researchers created a study to store and update their data, and simply had to switch permissions to allow anyone to view it. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison understood that the work was time-sensitive and expedited approvals for animal care and biosafety (without reducing scrutiny, O’Connor adds).”