Thermo’s Chris Linthwaite on Sequencing the Ebola Virus and the Future of Public Health

Major outbreaks of deadly viruses, such as the recent spread of Ebola in Northern Africa, are nothing new on planet earth. What is new is the technology that we are using to identify, track, and contain such plagues.

Scientists at Thermo Fisher Scientific developed a special "Ebola Panel" for their Ion Sequencing system, and over the past year teamed up with the University of Cambridge and other international organizations in an effort to curb the further spread of the Ebola. This included air dropping their portable Personal Genome Machine into remote areas and infected zones and dealing with various on the ground challenges.

How have new technologies such as next gen sequencing changed our ability to deal with public health crises such as deadly viruses or microbes, we ask Chris Linthwaite, president of Genetic Sciences at Thermo Fisher. With so many labs around the world equipped with the latest nucleic acid technologies who are also now connected via the cloud, Chris says that our ability to track global public health is dramatically changing.