Dr Ascher monitors COVID-19 mutations
Dr David Ascher, a computational biologist from the School of Biomedical Sciences, was interviewed by ABC News last week about South Australia’s recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Dr Ascher, who developed a tool to monitor COVID-19 mutations, said before seeing the data he suspected the Adelaide strain was one that is "dominating the vast majority of all the COVID cases around the world at the moment".
The strain has what's known as the D614G gene mutation, a tweak in the virus' DNA that means it spreads to others more easily.
The D614G strain rapidly spread around the globe, including Victoria, and accounts for "pretty much 90 per cent or more" of the COVID-19 going around Europe at the moment, Dr Ascher said.
The first case to be identified was a woman in her 80s who tested positive on November 14. South Australia had 39 active cases by November 24.
The David Ascher laboratory explores on-going technological advancements that have led to dramatic increases in the amounts of biological data being generated.
One of the lab’s main areas of interest is in the development of predictive and analytical tools and databases to investigate and understand the relationship between protein sequence, structure and function and phenotype.