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“The same mutation may be occurring independently in many parts of the world.” – Can it be the same or similar situation with the original, pre-mutations virus or viruses, whatever they are, presumably Sars-Cov-2? Yes, most definitely it can. It means that the original virus may also “be occurring independently in many parts of the world. The fact that most Covid-19 hotspots are community based confirms this thesis. – M.N.
Researchers Discover Coronavirus Variants Likely Originating in America
The same mutation may be occurring independently in many parts of the world.
by Ethen Kim Lieser
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have announced the discovery of new variants of the novel coronavirus that likely originated here in the United States.
The new variants carry a mutation identical to the strain first seen in the United Kingdom, but they likely arose in a virus strain already present in the country, according to the study’s findings that are currently under review for publication in BioRxiv as a pre-print.
The university noted that it has been sequencing the genome of SARS-CoV-2 viruses in coronavirus-positive patients since March 2020 in order to monitor the evolution of the contagion.
One of the new variants has been identified in only one patient from Ohio, so the researchers admitted that they do not yet know the prevalence of the strain in the general population. In contrast, the evolving strain with the three new mutations has become the dominant virus in the city of Columbus.
“This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases we’ve studied, but these three mutations represent a significant evolution,” the study’s leader Dr. Dan Jones, the vice-chairman of the division of molecular pathology, said in a news release.
“We know this shift didn’t come from the UK or South African branches of the virus.”
The researchers added that the mutations affect the spikes that stud the surface of SARS-CoV-2. These spikes are what enable the virus to attach to and eventually enter human cells.
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