Tracking the evolution of Corona virus in real time

This was just posted on Panda’s Thumb by @Joe_Felsenstein :

Here in Seattle, Joan and I have “gone to ground” at home, working from home and seeing in person as few people as possible. The Covid-19 coronavirus flu is spreading fairly rapidly locally. Creationists are fond of claiming that medical science does not make use of evolution in practice. So, in this case is evolutionary biology relevant? You bet! Evolutionary virologist Trevor Bedford at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is on the case, tracing out genealogical trees of virus sequences to track transmission locally and globally. He and his group made the news with their discovery that Covid-19 arrived in Seattle at least as early as the 15th of January, almost 7 weeks ago. (I think we’re supposed to call the virus itself SARS-CoV-2). Trevor has been reporting results every few hours on his Twitter account ( here ). His report of “cryptic transmission” can be found at his blog which is here . Very much worth reading.

1 Like

Extremely fascinating to read the blog. Also the link to where you can see the phylogenetic tree of the virus so far. If you hover over the different branches it even shows what mutations occurred on that particular lineage.

1 Like

Yeah. This is really fascinating. Thanks for posting it.

This is a serious realtime display of evolution. The exact same sort of algorithms we use to understand the evolution of species.