A new boom in Corona … and hopes to turn it into a “mild virus”


US researchers have identified a mutation in the genetic code of the emerging corona virus, similar to the changes experienced by scientists in the SARS virus belonging to the same family, when it spread in 2003.

Researchers at the University of Arizona, USA, observed that 81 characters disappeared in the genomes of the Corona virus, which could change its behavior and make it more or less virulent.

But the good indicator in the study is that a similar mutation occurred in the SARS virus years ago, and its ability to spread between humans has weakened.

Mutations are changes in the genetic makeup of living things that are passed on to future generations, and are more common in viruses that develop themselves based on the host’s resistance to them.The team was conducting a study on the influenza virus, but it changed its course towards corona after the disease broke out in the United States and infected hundreds of thousands.

The team succeeded in identifying the genetic makeup of the emerging corona virus, by analyzing swabs taken from some patients, which allowed them to identify about 30 thousand characters of its genetic code.

But by matching these new findings with a previously discovered genetic sequence of the virus itself, researchers have discovered that 81 genetic characters have “disappeared,” according to the American Medical Journal of Fireology.

These mutations are of great importance because they occurred for the SARS virus and reduced its ability to spread, said the assistant professor at the College of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and head of the research team, Ephrem Lim.

These mutations may help to better understand the emerging coronavirus, and may contribute to the development of drugs or vaccines against it, but more studies are needed.

Sky News


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