Novel method to understand how coronavirus evolves developed
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A new method to analyze the genetic code of the novel coronavirus, an advance that can shed light on how the virus evolves, and help identify new clusters of the disease.

• In the study, published in the journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, the scientists developed a novel platform, originally used to analyze the human genome, to pinpoint differences among the thousands of genetic sequences of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

• The researchers assessed the first 181 published genome sequences from the current COVID-19 outbreak to understand how changes in the virus could affect its behavior and impact.

• This RNA virus is expected to evolve into a number of distinct clusters that share mutations, which is what scientists have confirmed and visualized.

• Understanding these mutations may not affect the development and evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics.

However, they said it is important information to monitor as preclinical and clinical studies progress. "The more we know about this virus, the better armed we'll be to fight it," said Larry Marshall, study co-author and the Chief Executive of CSIRO

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