A new study found that DNA may also play a role in the severity of the virus in some infected people but not others.
And a report from the “Science Mag” website states that geneticists have uncovered confusing things about the genome and its changes, which control the severity of disease.
A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom studied more than 2,200 people with Corona, 74 percent of whom needed artificial respiration, and found that changes to the 3-chromosome group, which carry dozens of genes, explain many severe cases of the virus.
One of the discoveries is a gene called IFNAR2 that creates cell receptors for the protein interferon, which builds up immune defenses when a virus invades a cell. The team found that a copy of IFNAR2, present in one in four Europeans, raises the risk of severe corona infection by 30 percent.
Kenneth Bailey of the University of Edinburgh says: The very rare mutations that occur in IFNAR2 and seven other interferon genes may explain about 4 percent of the severity of the virus.
There is a group of genes called OAS, which are proteins that activate an enzyme that breaks down RNA, and changing one of these genes may weaken this activation, which allows the virus to multiply.
Some of the other genes identified by Bayley’s team could intensify inflammatory responses to lung damage caused by “Corona”, reactions that could be fatal for some patients.
The team says: The group of chromosome 3 remains being the strongest genetic factor that controls the severity of the virus, and it actually came from Neanderthals, through hybridization with our species tens of thousands of years ago. It is now found in about 16% of Europeans and 50% of South Asians.
The Corona virus is still undergoing further studies, and scientists seek to determine the date of the virus’s arrival with more accuracy, in order to map the virus’s genome to redraw its “family tree”.
The virus continues to spread rapidly around the world, with more than one million deaths and 37 million infections. And many countries that passed the first wave are now facing a second wave of the epidemic.
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