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Covid Survey

Evidence of “double mutant” substitutions E484Q and L452R in the B.1.429 lineage suggest convergent evolution of immune escape mutations

Two variants have been shown to help the SARS-CoV-2 virus avoid the immune system’s antibody response; their emergence in separate viral lineages suggests convergent evolution in response to selective pressure.


Update on the Helix, Illumina surveillance program: B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the UK, spreads further into the US

Most recent update: January 11th, 2021 What’s new? Helix has identified 74 cases of B.1.1.7 (up from the 51 reported in our January 6 update). B.1.1.7 appears to currently represent 0.27% of all positive tests and 43% of SGTF samples, up from 0.17% and 34% last week, respectively. B.1.1.7 has been found in 3 additional  … Read more


SARS-CoV-2 UK variant (B.1.1.7) in the US: Four cases identified in Florida and California

The SARS-CoV-2 UK variant (B.1.1.7) strain has recently emerged as the dominant strain in the UK and has been found to be more infectious. Studies from France and the UK have shown that S gene dropout predicts the B.1.1.7 strain with near-perfect accuracy. Last week, we reported observing ~0.5% of recent positive HelixⓇ COVID-19 Tests  … Read more

Covid Survey

Is the new SARS-CoV-2 UK variant (B.1.1.7) already in the US? Maybe.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been concern about novel SARS-CoV-2 mutations emerging that are more transmissible. Recently, multiple novel strains of SARS-CoV-2 have been found to share the same deletion of amino acids H69 and V70.  At least some of these strains are hypothesized to have increased transmissibility, and some have  … Read more


5 ways Helix’s research community has advanced science in 2020

As we wrap up 2020 and look back at the year we’ve all endured, it’s important to highlight the places where humanity shone through the darkness. One such place is in our research community.  While the people around the nation were forced into isolation by stay at home orders or self-imposed quarantine, our research community  … Read more

One Million COVID-19 Tests

Helix Delivers One Millionth COVID-19 Test

Today, we’re excited to announce a major milestone – we’ve delivered 1,000,000 COVID-19 tests since we first launched our testing in late June. While we’ve been scaling rapidly since then, we’ve recently accelerated tremendously, with over half of these tests being delivered in just the past four weeks.

Image of early hominid representing neanderthal and denisovan

COVID-19 severity and the Neanderthal heirloom

Neanderthal DNA may influence how severe a person’s symptoms to COVID-19 are.


The enduring nature of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 may endure for months after infection, even in people who initially experienced mild illness. This is the conclusion put forth by a collaborative team of researchers from Helix, Renown Health, and the Desert Research Institute after analyzing survey data from more than 21,000 individuals, 233 of which report having tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID Survey

Helix survey data contributes to a new COVID-19 study

In a recent study, researchers from an international consortium used genetic data alongside survey responses to gain insight into how our DNA may affect our vulnerability to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic).

Managing COVID-19 outbreaks with screening & surveillance

Here, we describe how the use of COVID-19 screening and the combined use of screening results for surveillance can be an effective way to manage COVID-19 outbreaks under various conditions based on epidemiological modeling.