Scientists at New York City's health department have reportedly started to study the coronavirus's genetic material in order to map the future outbreaks in the months to come amid the lifting of the restrictions, confirmed media reports. Sequencing the genomes of coronavirus on an online global database, the New York scientists joined the institutions worldwide who already are pooling the findings to curb the second wave.
City's health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, told a news agency from the Public Health Laboratory in Manhattan that the genome sequencing will help stem the resurgence of the disease among the communities later this year. She said that the scientists could use the fingerprint information to research whether the additional cases were transmitted from any of the original cases already present in the city or were imported from elsewhere, which would greatly help decode the trend.
According to scientists, the genome of the novel coronavirus consists of an RNA strand, also known as the ribonucleic acid which is a distinctive sequence of genetic base molecules that the coronavirus uses in the body to overtake the cellular machinery, as per reports.
Therefore, when coronavirus replicates in the human body, its genome becomes about 30,000 letters long, as compared to DNA which is approximately 3 billion letters make up. And hence, the scientists found that when the coronavirus makes itself a host in the human body, it alters the genetic signature of an individual which can be transmitted to subsequent infections, scientists confirmed, according to international media reports. Therefore, these mutations, detected in samples taken from patients create a genetic family tree and are easily detectable with respect to the origin.
Scientists at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine, across the First Avenue from the Public Health Laboratory have reportedly been sequencing the samples of the virus that dominates in New York City. They were quoted saying that the genome in New York arrived from the Europe. Adriana Heguy, one of the New York University researchers, said in an interview with a leading US media outlet that the sequencing of the genomes was sort of like doing detective work. She added that the scientists have been sharing their findings via the Germany-based GISAID database, which was created to track the influenza viruses.