A massive public health effort eradicated smallpox but scientists are still studying the deadly virus

The smallpox virus appears to have been with humanity for millennia before a global vaccination drive wiped it out. Current genome research suggests how smallpox spread and where it came from.

Patricia L. Foster, Professor Emerita of Biology, Indiana University • conversation
June 24, 2020 ~12 min

Tags: genome coronavirus genome-sequencing pandemic sars-cov-2 vaccination viruses world-health-organization-who viral-evolution smallpox zoonoses virulence cowpox smallpox-eradication disease-eradication zoonosis viral-dna

The coronavirus genome is like a shipping label that lets epidemiologists track where it's been

Every time the virus copies itself it makes mistakes, creating a trail that researchers can use to build a family tree with information about where it's traveled, and when.

Taylor Carter, PhD Student in Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina • conversation
April 27, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: epidemiology coronavirus wuhan sars-cov-2 coronavirus-2020 viruses disease-spread mutation mutation-rate viral-evolution viral-spread

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