Coronavirus: Mutant Invasion | Science

In the middle of the last century, science fiction popularized the B series the term mutant, but certainly not its biological meaning. For example, one of the characters said: Mutants are coming, mutations are coming !, and a series of men began to appear with dark eyes and a strong torso and tirelessly bald, making a good noise. This is where their bad press comes from, but let’s not forget that mutations are also the basis of evolution. Woody Allen said: When the genome doesn’t change, a species can be thrown for 10 million years unperturbed like one of those French films where you see the grass growing. However, when the environment stresses, it is the mutations that save the species. If they do well, they become the dominant type and replace the previous ones. This is what we see in Europe with the British variant of the Coronavirus.

A mutation is nothing more than a change in the genetic sequence (eg gatacca becomes gacacca). One change to a 3 billion-letter transcript in the human genome. The first mutation was discovered in a laboratory white, Which usually turned the fly’s red eyes to white Drosophila is black-bellied, Who usually sneaks into your bottle of vinegar and hangs around in green grocery stores. Genetics legend says that Thomas Hunt Morgan and his students had to stalk her in their lab at Columbia University, New York, until they managed to catch her in a vial and let her multiply. In a world where only predatory birds saw red, mutants white They would have prospered. In our world, it is still rare, although it is very useful in laboratories.

From SARS-CoV-2’s point of view, emerging mutations are progress

From SARS-CoV-2’s point of view, emerging mutations are progress. The British variant spreads better than the standard variant, and the South African variant can reduce recognition of our immune system, two traits that give them a distinct evolutionary advantage. The differences are a big part of the reason the UK and Germany cracked down on Easter week, because everything points to a fourth wave push in Europe. But today they have good news.

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A adapted version against the South African variant of the moderna vaccine (one based on the pioneering technology of messenger RNA, or mRNA, which is very fast) It entered clinical trials this month. If so, it is because some of the previous findings spur optimism. It indicates that people with the South African type (B 1,351) develop a good immune response against the other variants. The modified vaccine, which replaces the standard version of the main viral gene with B.1.351, is now seeking clinical evidence that it also works against this variant and others. If the signs are confirmed, anxiety about the new variants will subside, but we will rely more on the speed of cruising the vaccination campaigns. Let’s deal with that before the de-escalation schedule.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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