MIT THE TECH by Jennifer F. Switzer Jan. 14, 2015
CAMBRIDGE , MA-- At the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, in a lab run by accomplished computational geneticist Pardis Sabeti ’97, researchers have collaborated with institutions in the U.S. and abroad to sequence and analyze more than 99 Ebola virus genomes collected by fellow scientists in Sierra Leone. They are on the lookout for mutations that could aid in developing new treatment options for Ebola, or that could serve as indications that the virus is evolving to become more deadly.
Contained within the virus’s 19,000 base-pair genome, the team has found more than 300 genetic changes that separate the 2014 Ebola virus from its predecessors. Of interest is one particular cluster of mutations which, having outlasted other genetic variations, could possibly be conferring some sort of genetic advantage to the virus ebola patients for sequencing.