phylogenetic analysis; epidemic; pathogen; DNA sequencing
When a new epidemic strikes, it is often important to determine the relationship between the current organism and others that have been successfully treated previously. The phylogenetic analysis problem generates the most likely family tree for a group of organisms based on DNA sequence data. This process can take a prohibitively long period of time with current algorithms. If trees resulting from prior searches are used to seed the search, correct trees can be found much more quickly. This jumpstarting algorithm can generate superior phylogenetic solutions much more quickly than existing algorithms.