As the world healthcare community struggles with how to contain an Ebola outbreak in Africa, the National Institutes of Health is quietly putting in place a web-based central data repository to support and accelerate research in the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases globally.

With an estimated 300 million individuals worldwide affected by one of more than 7,000 known rare diseases, the goal is to improve drug and therapeutics development and the quality of life for those suffering from the diseases by providing researchers with the infrastructure to store, search, retrieve and analyze critical datasets. Though the data is not yet available, NIH is working towards a May 2015 launch of the repository’s public website.

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