News World Mutation in new coronavirus increases chance of infection - study

Mutation in new coronavirus increases chance of infection – study

 

A specific mutation in the new coronavirus can significantly increase its ability to infect cells, according to a study by U.S. researchers.

The research may explain why early outbreaks in some parts of the world did not end up overwhelming health systems as much as other outbreaks in New York and Italy, according to experts at Scripps Research.

The mutation, named D614G, increased the number of “spikes” on the coronavirus – which is the part that gives it its distinctive shape. Those spikes are what allow the virus to bind to and infect cells.

“The number—or density—of functional spikes on the virus is 4 or 5 times greater due to this mutation,” said Hyeryun Choe, one of the senior authors of the study.

The researchers say that it is still unknown whether this small mutation affects the severity of symptoms of infected people, or increases mortality.

The researchers conducting lab experiments say that more research, including controlled studies – widely considered a gold standard for clinical trials, needs to be done to confirm their findings from test tube experiments.

Older research has showed that the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and evolving as it adapts to its human hosts. The D614G mutation in particular has been flagged as an urgent concern because it appeared to be emerging as a dominant mutation.

The Scripps Research study is currently undergoing peer review and was released on Friday amid reports of its findings

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Low visibility on highways as bad weather continues

  Visibility is very low on the Larnaca-Nicosia and Nicosia-Limassol highways, with the network near the Mosfiloti area becoming waterlogged. Police are calling on drivers to...

Explainer: Can Trump pardon himself? Would the courts reject the move?

  As he prepares to end a tumultuous four years as U.S. president facing potential legal jeopardy, Donald Trump has discussed the possibility of pardoning...

U.S. state capitals on edge for armed protests as Trump presidency nears end

  U.S. law enforcement officials are gearing up for pro-Trump marches in all 50 state capitals this weekend, erecting barriers and calling in their National...

‘Go for it,’ says first person vaccinated in India’s massive COVID-19 campaign

  Hospital cleaning worker Manish Kumar today became the first person in India to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched one...

Major European powers rebuke Iran over uranium metal plans

  Three European powers warned Iran against starting work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, saying it contravened the 2015 nuclear deal and...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...