Mapping Zika’s Family Tree With Genome Sequencing Shows The Origins Of An Epidemic
Using the technique could help researchers predict how the next pandemic will move across the globe.
Los Angeles Times:
What The DNA Of The Zika Virus Tells Scientists About Its Rapid Spread
A family tree can reveal a lot, especially if it belongs to a microscopic troublemaker with a knack for genetic shape-shifting. DNA sleuthing can outline the route an emerging pathogen might take once it makes landfall in the Americas and encounters a wholly unprotected population. It’s a modern take on old-fashioned public health surveillance strategies that focused on the exhaustive collection and analysis of samples from the field. Now they’ve been bolstered by rapid genome sequencing — and the result can be a picture of an epidemic rendered in exquisite detail, and in near-real time. (Healy, 5/25)