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Covid-19: Abu Dhabi graduate helps develop tool to monitor coronavirus mutations

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 15, 2020 | Last updated on September 15, 2020 at 06.13 am
Covid-19, Abu Dhabi, graduate, helps, develop, tool, monitor, coronavirus mutations,

(Supplied photo)

During the research, the D'Souza and his team analysed more than 120,000 samples of the novel coronavirus from infected patients globally.

A former resident of Abu Dhabi is part of an international research team that has developed a tool to keep track of the mutations of the Covid-19 virus.

Elston Neil D'Souza, the youngest member of the team led by University of Melbourne associate professor David Ascher, helped create the tool called Covid-3D, which harnesses genomic and protein information about the virus.

The changing structures of the virus make it challenging for experts to develop drugs and vaccines; so by monitoring these mutations, Covid-3D becomes an important instrument in the fight against the pandemic.

During the research, D'Souza and his team analysed more than 120,000 samples of the novel coronavirus from infected patients globally.D'Souza, with eight others, co-authored the research paper, which has been peer reviewed and published in the scientific journal 'Nature Genetics'.

"With the large amounts of data collected and shared across the world, this pandemic has seen the use of innovative techniques such as genomic sequencing, machine learning and data-sharing. We developed Covid-3D using this vast amount of data," said D'Souza, an alumnus of Adnoc Schools, Ruwais. He has finished his degree in computational biology at the University of Melbourne and he is now doing another course.

"This tool is an open and freely accessible Web resource that can help researchers around the world."

D'Souza graduated from Adnoc Schools in 2016 and he attributes a large part of this success to the quality education he received in the Capital. "I am grateful for the many opportunities to learn and grow when I was a science student at Adnoc Schools. I thank the UAE for showing me the importance of working hard with a diverse group of individuals," the 22-year-old added. His parents are still residing in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com 

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.


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