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Algorithm That Mapped Omicron Shows Path Forward

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An antigenic map.

An antigenic map shows the major variants of COVID-19 that have buffeted the world so far.

Credit: Derek Smith, Sam Wilks, Barbara Mühlemann, and Xiaoying Shen

The antigenic cartography algorithm, which can two-dimensionally map laboratory data on viral strains, has helped scientists keep up with genetic variants.

Derek Smith at the U.K.'s University of Cambridge and Ron Fouchier at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands developed the algorithm, which interprets and visualizes data as a color-coded map that clusters antigenically similar viruses closer together.

Over a dozen labs convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health are applying antigenic cartography to COVID variants.

Recent research yielded an antigenic map plotting omicron's relationship to prior variants. Antigenic mapping plays a central role in forecasting future variants and developing appropriate vaccines.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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