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May 4, 2020

ASU scientific team finds new, unique mutation in coronavirus study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

To trace the trail of the virus worldwide, Lim’s team is using a new technology called next-generation sequencing at ASU’s Genomics Facility, to rapidly read through all 30,000 chemical letters of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic code, called a genome.

Each sequence is deposited into a worldwide gene bank, run by a nonprofit scientific organization called GISAID. To date, over 16,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequences have been deposited GISAID’s EpiCoVTM Database. The sequence data shows that SARS-CoV-2 originated a single source from Wuhan, China, while many of the first Arizona cases analyzed showed travel from Europe as the most likely source.

Now, using a pool of 382 nasal swab samples obtained from possible COVID-19 cases in Arizona, Lim’s team has identified a SARS-CoV-2 mutation that had never been found before—where 81 of the letters have vanished, permanently deleted from the genome.

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