Allen Institute and Google are teaming up to create a platform for studying the immune system – GeekWire

TEA-seq, one of the tools available in the Human Immune System Explorer. Cell types have different colors, each point corresponds to a separate cell. Cell clusters have similar RNA profiles. (Image of the Elena Institute)

The Allen Institute of Immunology on Wednesday unveiled a new interactive platform to demonstrate the human immune system, Researcher of the human immune system.

Built in partnership with Google, the researcher is a central place for researchers and the public to search for analysis tools, resources and data. The platform adds to the growing set of similar resources at the Helen Institute, such as Allen Cell Explorer and Alena’s brain map.

This is also the first time the Helen Institute has used Google’s cloud offerings, such as Vertex AI, to create such a platform. The Google team meets weekly with researchers at the institute. “They were just deeply committed to working with people at the Elena Institute,” he said Paul MeyerDirector of Software Development, Databases and Conveyors Institute of Immunology.

As the platform matures, Meyer believes it will be widely used by immunology researchers around the world who will add their data to the platform. It will track different cell types, molecules and other aspects of immunity in healthy people and people with diseases such as COVID-19 and cancer. Here are some of the current features of the platform:

  • Protocols that describe how to collect molecular and clinical data over time in a single person.
  • The data visualization app is called TEA-after which captures three types of data simultaneously from individual immune cells: proteins on the cell surface, RNA inside the cell, and “epigenetic” information indicating which genes are active.
  • Interactive data visualization tool shows how delays in sample processing affect immune cells.
  • A way of visualization several types of patient data from different points in time, called PALMO (a platform for analyzing longitudinal multi-ohmic data).
Researcher at the Institute of Immunology Elena Paul Meyer. (Photo by Elena Institute)

The platform ultimately aims to simplify the cataloging, visualization and analysis of vast amounts of data collected during studies of the human immune system. The institute aims to promote open, collaborative and interdisciplinary science.

For example, researchers at the Allen Institute are involved in studying the immune system in patients with long-term COVID disease. Scientists catalog proteins present on the surface of a patient’s immune cells during the first infection and for several weeks after it. They recently discovered protein kits associated with prolonged COVID, suggesting that some affected people have high levels of inflammation. These data were recently published in Fr. preprint study and will soon be introduced to the new platform.

The institute also seeks to increase the diversity of human subjects presented on the platform. Ultimately, users can filter datasets by people’s pre-existing conditions, social conditions, or other factors.

An interdisciplinary team of lab scientists and 10 software developers has created the new platform in about three years, Meyer said. “Team science and team development efforts have been a real force we have at the Elena Institute of Immunology,” he said.

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