Is it possible that machine learning could help to identify the viruses most likely to transmit over from animals to people and cause future pandemics? This intriguing topic came to us from Nature in their article, “Could an algorithm predict the next pandemic?

Novel Corona Virus – the most recent pandemic – struck over 99% of the countries and territories all over the world leaving over 6 million people dead and placing states in a perilous position. Enormous research are being done on the virus detection, providing treatments to relief symptoms and developing vaccines. Emerging technologies can play a primary role in such circumstances to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak. 

Does this mean that technologies can also help identify potential future pandemics? FluLeap is a machine learning algorithm that uses sequence data to classify influenza viruses as either avian or human. Rather than attempting to fully characterize every new virus, models could be used to flag high-priority targets for further investigation.

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Melody K. Smith

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