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COVID mutations...

Old 06-29-20, 10:47 AM
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genec
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COVID mutations...

When the first coronavirus cases in Chicago appeared in January, they bore the same genetic signatures as a germ that emerged in China weeks before.

But as Egon Ozer, an infectious-disease specialist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, examined the genetic structure of virus samples from local patients, he noticed something different.

A change in the virus was appearing again and again. This mutation, associated with outbreaks in Europe and New York, eventually took over the city. By May, it was found in 95 percent of all the genomes Ozer sequenced.

At a glance, the mutation seemed trivial. About 1,300 amino acids serve as building blocks for a protein on the surface of the virus. In the mutant virus, the genetic instructions for just one of those amino acids number 614 switched in the new variant from a D (shorthand for aspartic acid) to a G (short for glycine).
https://www.washingtonpost.com/scien...e/?arc404=true
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Old 06-29-20, 01:33 PM
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Interesting article. It should be noted that COVID was a recent zoonotic jump to humans, so this may well be part of a slow evolution to make the virus more infectious.

Are there more mutations that could verify the genetic tree. Is it possible that this single spike protein mutation has spontaneously occurred multiple times if it conveys a competitive advantage?

The next step, of course, would be to try to correlate the novel spike protein to symptoms, morbidity, and mortality. Asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic spread.
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Old 06-29-20, 01:37 PM
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I thought I would look up the Snohomish Mutation.

I picked up this Seattle Times Article that suggests that there may have been at least two independent introductions of the Snohomish mutation, and the one Snohomish Man wasn't responsible for the Washington outbreak.

It refers to a more lengthy article that I'll have to evaluate later.
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1...322v1.full.pdf
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