SEQUENCING THE GENOME OF THE VIRUS BEHIND COVID-19

Authors: Amanda Zrebiec

With software and molecular biology approaches developed in part at APL, researchers at John’s Hopkins are using handheld DNA sequencers to conduct immediate on-site genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19.

“This information allows for the tracking of the evolution of the virus. It gives clinicians a sense of where the new cases coming into Baltimore could’ve originated, and insight into how long transmission may have occurred undetected. There are a lot of things we can glean from that.”

Topping that list is the ability to see how quickly the virus mutates—integral information for mapping its spread, as well as developing an effective vaccine. Influenza, for example, mutates constantly. That’s why it’s necessary to vaccinate against different strains of the flu each year.

For More Information: https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/30/covid-19-gene-sequencing/

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