Broad Institute & UBC Researchers Develop COVID-19 Tracking Tool to Help Identify Mutations by Geography

Broad Institute & UBC Researchers Develop COVID-19 Tracking Tool to Help Identify Mutations by Geography

A research team from the Broad institute, the University of British Columbia and 4Fusion Genomics Corporation have developed an open, free public browser resource for tracking COVID-19 virus mutations by location. Known as COVID-19 CoV Genetics (COVID-19 CG), this effort was made possible due to the wide variety of viral data now available via the GISAID database. Now researchers have a tool to track SARS-CoV-2 single-nucleotide variation, lineage and clades. The ability to track this data hasn’t been uniform across nations. But more frequent and collaborative sequencing supports greater global vigilance in the effort to overcome and beat COVID-19.

While sequencing efforts in the UK recently helped identify the B.1.1.7 variant just in the fall, more variants of course have been uncovered in South Africa, Brazil and California. These variants may boost the survivability of SARS-CoV-2 by boosting its viral transmission abilities or bolstering the pathogens’ ability to resist neutralizing antibodies.

In a new paper published in eLife, the researchers introduce COVID-19 CG positing that use of the tool can help shorten the time and effort necessary in association with COVID-19 transmission, evolution, diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and intervention tracking.

Lead Research/Investigator

Albert Tian Chen, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Kevin Altschuler, independent web designer

Shing Hei Zhan, Department of Zoology & Biodiversity Research Centre, the University of British Columbia, Fusion Genomics Corporation

Yujia Alina Chan, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Benjamin Deverman, PhD, Director Vector Engineering,  Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Call to Action: Follow the link to the recent published paper and actual tool. 

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