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Want to track pandemic variants faster? Fix the bioinformatics bottleneck

Hodcroft, EB; De Maio, N; Lanfear, R; MacCannell, DR; Minh, BQ; Schmidt, HA; Stamatakis, A; ... Dessimoz, C; + view all (2021) Want to track pandemic variants faster? Fix the bioinformatics bottleneck. Nature , 591 (7848) pp. 30-33. 10.1038/d41586-021-00525-x. Green open access

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Abstract

The prospect of reduced vaccine potency from fast-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants has spurred a global rush to increase genomic surveillance for the coronavirus. This is crucial for quickly identifying and tracking emergent strains. It can also pin down how transmission occurs between individuals more definitively than typical contact tracing can. As this article went to press, laboratories around the world had sequenced more than 610,000 SARS-CoV-2 samples; that number could well exceed one million by the end of the pandemic. In theory, these genomes could help us to understand the spread of the virus through communities and across the globe, allowing us to stall infections. In practice, such analyses reveal much less than they might do.

Type: Article
Title: Want to track pandemic variants faster? Fix the bioinformatics bottleneck
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-00525-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00525-x
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128746
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