Contributed by Darwin Bandoy, PhD candidate
It is the start of another year and we are still in the middle of the winter wave of COVID-19 with a record number of mortalities and new infections. What is different is the renewed interest in tracking mutational variants and emerging lineages, particularly B.1.1.7. While we expect new mutations to arise, what is notable is that a large-scale genome sequencing effort in the UK enabled the identification of the variant. We cannot say the same level of genomic tracking is occurring in other countries. We need to sequence more in order to understand the virus. This is perfectly aligned with what we have been saying with the 100K Pathogen Genome Project.