Since the beginning of the pandemic, Liana Lareau and her team have focused her research on a crucial niche: monitoring the mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the local community. To date, they have reconstructed the sequences of 750 viral swab samples from testing, all of which have been uploaded to the national database that tracks the spread of variants. As part of national efforts to track emerging variants, Lareau and her team are currently implementing a rapid pipeline with a two-week turnaround from testing to entry in the public database. Their team is now preparing to sequence many of the new cases that have popped up on campus, to see whether the variant that originated in the UK or the CAL.20C variant — or perhaps others — are spreading more widely.
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