Blue Brain and COVID-19

In March 2020, EPFL’s Blue Brain Project launched a resource site for projects on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and made its technical and human resources and expertise available to hospitals, COVID-19 researchers and decision-makers to help tackle the immense global threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the years, Blue Brain has created a powerful supercomputing infrastructure and has a large team of uniquely skilled informaticians, modelers, mathematicians, computer scientists, programmers and technical support staff.

These resources have been instrumental in three key projects to date.

A machine reveals how glucose helps the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Why do some people get sick and die from COVID-19 while others seem to be completely unaffected?

EPFL’s Blue Brain Project deployed its powerful brain simulation technology and expertise in cellular and molecular biology to try and answer this question. A group in the Blue Brain assembled an AI tool that could read hundreds of thousands of scientific papers, extract the knowledge and assemble the answer – A machine-generated view of the role of blood glucose levels in the severity of COVID-19 published by Frontiers in Public Health.

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A machine reveals how glucose helps the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Academic Resources Platform for COVID-19

A new open source technology for unconventional supply relief in the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond

When the full-scale effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to be understood in early 2020, the EPFL Blue Brain Project and ETH Zurich, as part of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force, began collaborating with Spiez Laboratory on an online Platform – Academic Resources for COVID-19 (ARC).

 In a paper published in Frontiers for Public Health, the authors explain how the ARC Platform was set up to be a service to support Swiss diagnostic laboratories that are testing for SARS-CoV-2. The ARC Platform matched requests for critical equipment, reagents and consumable goods required by Swiss diagnostic laboratories involved in combating COVID-19 with supplies available from Swiss academic groups. Since then, with further input from Swiss startup Apptitude SA, the Platform has evolved with the needs of the epidemiological situation and the technology has been open sourced with the purpose to serve public health as a response solution for other countries and communities in the current COVID-19 crisis or in future crises.

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COVID-19 Crisis – A technology providing unconventional supply relief

Diagnostic Implementation Simulator for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics

The Diagnostic Implementation Simulator for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics simulates scenarios for optimal allocation of resources. It uses modeling data to estimate the potential impact of deploying different testing strategies for COVID-19.

The simulator has been developed in collaboration with FIND, the Blue Brain Project and Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, the Philippines and was supported by funding from Unitaid.

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Click here to access the Simulator –

Blue Brain co-develops COVID-19 Diagnostic Implementation Simulator