• Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

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Sharon Peacock interview: How we track down new coronavirus variants

Sharon Peacock, director of COVID-19 Genomics UK, poses for a portrait on the grounds of the Wellcome Sanger Institute's 55-acre campus south of Cambridge, Britain

Sharon Peacock, director of COVID-19 Genomics UK

REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Last December, the UK shocked the world with the announcement of a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that seemed to spread faster than the original virus. That discovery was made possible by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, which had been sequencing viral samples to monitor the evolution of the virus. COG-UK, as it is known, is led by Sharon Peacock, who spoke to New Scientist about her research.

What were you working on before the pandemic kicked off?
I was working in …