To keep up with changes to the virus that causes Covid-19, scientists are using a technology called genomic sequencing. The process starts with a Covid-19 test.

Some samples that test positive for the coronavirus in a laboratory are pulled aside and sent off for sequencing, a review of the virus’s genetic material that can take as little as a day or more than a week. The SARS-CoV-2 genome has about 30,000 individual building blocks to decode, compared with about three billion in the human genome.

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