Nextstrain is an open-source application that continually tracks pathogen evolution in order to inspire solutions for existing problems. It delivers a concise view of publicly available data, in combination with “powerful analytic and visualization tools” that are available for use by the community.
The pathogen evolution-tracking project sources its information from Gisaid–a platform for sharing genomic data–and Nextstrain researchers analyze the pathogen genome data for mutations. It has definitely had implications for the COVID-19 pandemic as the data allowed the team to spot a connection between two Washington cases.
According to a computational biologist at Scripps Research, pathogen evolution data that Nextstrain can supply gives “a quick snapshot of how the virus has spread across regions and how local outbreaks are connected.”
Image Credit: Nextstrain