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Arizona research group tracking COVID-19 compiles 100,000 sequenced genome samples

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A large-scale effort to track the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona has resulted in the genomic sequencing of more than 100,000 samples of the virus.

The research was compiled by a coalition including TGen, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Genomic sequencing spells out the DNA code, or RNA code in the case of viruses. The letters of code can change or mutate, according to researchers.

In the case of COVID-19, that resulted in thousands of mutations and dozens of variants that changed transmissibility and virulence of the virus.

The Arizona research group is one of many globally working to track COVID through rapid data sharing to better understand how the virus evolves and is transmitted in the general population.