The COVID-19 pandemic is an unfolding story told in numbers. While news reports focus on the number of tests, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths undulating through time and space, an organization called the GISAID Initiative tracks the number of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences that researchers have posted, from all over the world. It recently reached a milestone: 75,000.
Consulting genome sequences to follow and predict the spread of an epidemic or pandemic is called genomic epidemiology. It's important.
Public posting of the first genome of the novel coronavirus from researchers in China, back in early January, got the ball rolling in vaccine development. Some companies were able to plug the new genetic information into vaccine designs already in the works for other viruses.
To continue reading, go to DNA Science, where this post first appeared.