BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) — According tomedia reports, the world is currently dealing with a more mutant, more contagious coronavirus. Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico say scientists have been studying the evolution of the new coronavirus for two months, taking different gene sequences from patients to analyze the virus in experiments, focusing on a key part of the virus, the prophonoprotein portion of a virus-infected cell.
The researchers found a specific mutation in the spike protein known as “D614” in samples of the original strain of the new coronavirus, and in many early cases in Europe, the United States and other countries, patients were found to carry the d614 virus. But in early February this year, another form of variant, called G614, emerged. In almost all infected regions, the G614 variant spread rapidly, replacing the D614 variant in just a few weeks.
Scientists say the rapid spread of the G614 virus is proof that “a new, more contagious coronavirus is beginning to emerge,” but Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, said the study’s cases were isolated and did not represent the overall picture. The vast majority of sequenced isolated viruses come from Europe and have a wider range of sexual transmission, which may be because the virus is more likely to spread, but also because of relatively late intervention in protective measures that have led to the outbreak.
In other words, the G614 mutation may have no effect on the infection, it may simply be a ride on a “virus strain” that has spread from Europe to other regions. While Hanachi does believe there is some evidence that the mutation may have increased the spread of the virus, it is not a decisive factor.
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in the US, is even more skeptical of the team’s conclusions, saying: “They haven’t done any experiments, and the conclusion is just to guess that there is no indication that the mutation makes the virus more easily transmitted, which is important for its functionality.” “
New coronavirus research advances faster than universal scientific research, and researchers must strike a balance between accuracy and public health risks. The study authors argue that there is an urgent need for an “early warning system” to track the evolution of viral protrusion proteins, which are potential targets for vaccines and treatments for scientists, and that any truly relevant mutations could seriously affect these efforts and even expose survivors to a second infection.
The virus is constantly mutated, but most mutations do not ultimately affect the spread of the virus or make people sick. For now, it remains to be seen whether these preliminary findings mean anything. The current spread of the epidemic is already very scary, whether or not there is a virus mutation, whether it is worth the attention of researchers, but still need to do a lot of research to verify. (Ye Ding Cheng)