A recent article from The Harvard Gazette discussed a new artificial intelligence tool in hopes of predicting viral mutations. EVEscape, developed by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford, can predict viral variants and identify which are most dangerous. EVEscape uses an evolutionary model to predict the mutations, and incorporates biological and structural data about the virus.
In a study, the tool successfully predicted the most frequent mutations and concerning variants for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like HIV and influenza. The researchers are using EVEscape to anticipate future SARS-CoV-2 variants, releasing biweekly rankings of new variants. This tool could likely aid in designing more effective vaccines and therapies for various viruses. EVEscape is available online for free, and can be adapted for other viruses.