2 March 2021
The extraordinary proliferation of scientific research prompted by the global pandemic has brought the need for advanced systems for organizing scientific information into focus. To address this pressing need, Humane Society International joined the innovative crowd-sourcing CIAO project (“Modelling the Pathogenesis of COVID-19 using the Adverse Outcome Pathway framework”), working in cooperation with the European Joint Research Center, the Karolinska Institute and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
COVID-19 has proven to be a great challenge for medicine, especially with respect to the urgency of efforts to understand its underlying biological processes and the complex range of patient outcomes dependent on so many external factors.
CIAO is a global effort to systematize the wealth of knowledge now accumulating on SARS-CoV-2, give it structure, meaning and accessibility, and maximize its utility to researchers and clinicians worldwide, enabling stakeholders to avoid duplication of research and accelerate progress to develop treatments and vaccines.
In 2020 alone, scientific efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in tens of thousands of papers published. This deluge of information has to some extent overwhelmed researchers, effectively hampering their ability to sift through results, retrieve critical and valuable information, and integrate their findings into a coherent, intelligible and broader structure.
The objective of CIAO is to apply the Adverse Outcome Pathway framework to solve COVID-19’s “obscurity by abundance” by collecting, organizing and evaluating the flood of information concerning the underlying biological pathways and their influences, allowing discovery of better interventions and cures. At the same time this work enriches the AOP Wiki, a collaborative relational database mapping biomedical scientific knowledge. With respect to COVID-19 research, the AOP wiki focuses on the molecular pathways the virus exploits to cause the multitude of effects it produces in the human body.
HSI is glad to support such a key scientific endeavour. This systematization of knowledge through the AOP framework will support researchers in their understanding of the disease, and clinicians in their efforts to care for patients. In every respect, it highlights the significant benefits of collaborative, multi-disciplinary approaches focusing on human-based science to address urgent medical needs.
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