Imagine a tiny molecular machine armed with a program to infect human cells, subvert their defenses and make copies of itself to infect neighboring cells and spread to other humans. This strategy is used by SARS-CoV-2 among other viruses, and the code for this program is the virus’s genome. Deciphering this code is important for detecting, tracking, and understanding SARS-CoV-2, whereby changes at the most fundamental and molecular level may have implications for individuals, populations and economies around the world.
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Samira Mubareka, Andrew McArthur and Sandrine Moreira