In a study published today in Genome Research, researchers developed PopPUNK (Population Partitioning Using Nucleotide K-mers), a computational tool for analyzing tens of thousands of bacterial genomes in a single run, up to 200-fold faster than previous methods. Researchers envision PopPUNK will expedite the identification of bacterial strains as the scale of bacterial genomes being sequenced increases and, importantly, allow public health agencies to quickly identify outbreak strains that pose a public health risk.