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A family tree for SARS-CoV-2

 
Artificial intelligence is at work in many of the COVID-19 research efforts taking place around the world. The Canadian-based charitable organization CIFAR recently funded 14 new projects that would include machine learning research and application to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
Bogdan Mazoure and Guillaume Rabusseau are researchers with Mila, an artificial intelligence research institute based in Quebec. They received CIFAR and Genome Canada funding to lead a project which will use AI to do a gene-by-gene analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. By tracing the evolution of the virus they will be able to reconstruct what amounts to a genealogic family tree of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, covering a time span of more than 20 years for 3 host species.
 
Freelance broadcaster Don Hill talked with the 2 researchers about their work which will lead to a better understanding of the parts of the virus genome which control specific functions such as transmission or the infection rate for different strains.

A family tree for SARS-CoV-2

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