29 May 2020

QMATH tracks the spread of Danish Coronavirus from genetic data



Coronavirus

The large scale efforts in many countries and tremendous advances in sequencing techniques make it possible to monitor a pandemic in real time like never before.

During the lockdown researchers at QMATH switch gears and investigate the genomic data of Danish Coronavirus cases. The large scale efforts in many countries and tremendous advances in sequencing techniques make it possible to monitor a pandemic in real time like never before. The mutations in the genome allow researchers to track the spread of the virus.

The analysis by QMATH backs up the common narrative that the majority of the Danish cases stem from a ski area in Austria. They further find several chains of mutations that occurred in Denmark and in at least one case find evidence that it spread from Denmark to other countries. The methods have the potential to inform policy makers cross check transmission chains during contact tracing.

The project originates from analogies between the mathematics of tensor networks, relevant in quantum information, and that of phylogenetic trees, relevant for the spread of viruses.