In the Ebola and Zika outbreaks of the past several years, evolutionary trees revealed the virus’s patterns of spread around the world, but sometimes not until months or years after the outbreaks began. The new coronavirus has spread far faster—but the pace of science has sped up as well. Between January and early April, more than twenty-five hundred covid-19 genomes were published, making it possible to track how the virus has spread and evolved in almost real time.These advances raise the tantalizing possibility that knowledge of viral evolution can alter the course of this pandemic.
A new research tool (Bellymount) allowed biologists to watch in real time the cell renewal process that keeps gut tissue healthy, as well as the interactions between bacterial species that make up the microbiome.
Bellymount allows researchers to peer into the live tissue of the fruit fly gut and other visceral organs in real time. It provides researchers with massive amounts of time-series imaging data, which is revolutionary in the biological sciences. Image is courtesy of Leslie Koyama and Lucy O’Brien.