Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Scoltech
Reading the future from a tree: evolutionary genomics of pathogens
Pathogens are among the fastest evolving biological entities on Earth, and within pathogens, the most rapidly evolving systems are those involved in interactions with the host. We are now able to acquire nucleotide sequences of pathogens in near real time during a developing outbreak. The knowledge thus obtained can help trace the origin of the outbreak, elucidate transmission rate and pathways, and inform vaccine strain selection. I will describe how a novel discipline, phylodynamics, uses the concepts and methods of evolutionary biology and high-throughput sequencing data to inform public health decisions.