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Coronavirus UK: scientists sequence the genome in order to explain the spread

The Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium will use whole genome sequencing to map the spread of the virus and how it behaves.

Coronavirus Uk scientists genome
Coronavirus Uk scientists genome

Some of the UK’s top research group decide to asses how the Covid-19 spreands and behaves. It can show by sequencing its genome in labs across the nation. The Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium – composed of the NHS, Public Health Agencies, Wellcome Sanger Institute, and numerous academic institutions – will use whole genome sequencing to map the spread of the virus and how it behaves.

Coronavirus UK: scientists sequence the genome

This technique will lead a bigger understanding of the virus. Not only that, scientist can also identify variants in the genetic code that may help to treat future mutations. Beforehand, China and France have already sequenced the genetic makeup of the virus to better understand how it functions. Business secretary Alok Sharma said that this new consortium will bring together the UK’s brightest and best scientists to build our understanding of this pandemic, tackle the disease and ultimately save lives.

“As a Government we are working tirelessly to do all we can to fight Covid-19 to protect as many lives and save as many jobs as possible.” Samples from “substantial numbers” of infected people will be handed on to labs in Belfast, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford and Sheffield, which will then collaborate to build a clearer picture of how the virus functions.

Scientist can use this data to monitor changes in the virus at a national scale to understand how the virus is spreading and whether different strains are emerging. Government chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “Genomic sequencing will help us understand Covid-19 and its spread. It can also help guide treatments in the future and see the impact of interventions.

Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, added that in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Sanger Institute will deploy its large-scale sequencing platform alongside regional sequencing centres to support UK Public Health Agencies, regional NHS centres and several universities to better understand the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

“Samples from substantial numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19 will be whole genome sequenced and, employing the Sanger Institute’s expertise in genomics and surveillance of infectious diseases, our researchers will collaborate with other leading groups across the country to analyse the data generated and work out how Coronavirus is spreading in the UK. This will inform national and international strategies to control the pandemic and prevent further spread.”


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