How coronavirus mutations can track its spread—and disprove conspiracies

National Geographic | Mar 26, 2020 at 5:40 PM
  • Think of the open-source project Nextstrain.org as an outbreak museum.
  • Labs around the world contribute genetic sequences of viruses collected from patients, and Nextstrain uses that data to paint the evolution of epidemics through global maps and phylogenetic charts, the family trees for viruses.
  • Back then, public health officials focused on tracking patients’ travel histories and connecting the dots back to potentially infected people they’d met along the way.