Evolutionary biology in real time

Figure from Bedford blog post

Here in Seattle, Joan and I have “gone to ground” at home, working from home and seeing in person as few people as possible. The Covid-19 coronavirus flu is spreading fairly rapidly locally. Creationists are fond of claiming that medical science does not make use of evolution in practice. So, in this case is evolutionary biology relevant? You bet! Evolutionary virologist Trevor Bedford at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is on the case, tracing out genealogical trees of virus sequences to track transmission locally and globally. He and his group made the news with their discovery that Covid-19 arrived in Seattle at least as early as the 15th of January, almost 7 weeks ago. (I think we’re supposed to call the virus itself SARS-CoV-2). Trevor has been reporting results every few hours on his Twitter account (here). His report of “cryptic transmission” can be found at his blog which is here. Very much worth reading.