Texas A&M Researcher Develops Software Tool to Help Research into Bacterial Mutations

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – A Texas A&M researcher has developed new software that will help advance research into bacterial mutations.

Developed by Texas A&M biostatistics professor Qi Zheng, the software helps researchers speed up their work by providing them with the algorithms they need to make sense of their data. The algorithms help them estimate mutation rates.

“Today, we can develop a so-called web tool, where this web tool is very intuitive,” Zheng said. “You just enter the data, press a certain key, and you’ll see the estimated mutation rates. “

This saves time for scientists as they no longer need to learn complex programming languages ​​and software to draw their conclusions. Zheng says his web tool removes a major barrier for these researchers in their work.

“Biologists need two things. One is a good algorithm. Two is an easy-to-use software tool, ”Zheng said. “I developed a package so that they don’t have to learn the language. Learning this language is inconvenient as it is unfamiliar and can take a long time.

According to the World Health Organization, 700,000 people die each year from infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Zheng says his software will be instrumental in helping stop this global health problem.

“Some bacterial strains will develop resistance faster than others, so we want to identify the most dangerous strain. The more dangerous means it can mutate faster than other strains, ”Zheng said. “My tool speeds up this research in a certain sense. This makes the data collected more quickly understandable.

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