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Source: COVID-19 Mutations  Aug 01, 2020  3 months ago
COVID-19 Mutations: Updates From Michigan State University Machine Learning Model Indicates That Sars-Cov-2 Growing More Infectious And Evolving Smartly
COVID-19 Mutations: Updates From Michigan State University Machine Learning Model Indicates That Sars-Cov-2 Growing More Infectious And Evolving Smartly
Source: COVID-19 Mutations  Aug 01, 2020  3 months ago
COVID-19 Mutations: A highly innovative machine learning model developed by researchers at Michigan State University that first indicated in June (https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.14669) that mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 genome have made the virus more infectious has once again raised the alarms that its platform is indicating that more mutations are occurring on the SAR-CoV-2  genome especially with regards to the Spike proteins and also the e-proteins that it is strengthening and making the virus even more infectious and potent.



As of today the offical number of people infected with thenovel coronavirus has now reached almost 18 million globally and about almost 681,000 people have died. These figures are expected to rise "super" exponentially starting from around October. Already since July,we are now seeing an average of more than  200,000 plus new COVID-19 cases a day and that figure is still rising, so are the figures of those dying. Many are already saying that official figures are not accurate as even the US CDC estimated that the real figures could be more than ten fold.
 
The deep learning machine model developed by lead researcher Dr Guowei Wei, professor in the departments of Mathematics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, analyzed SARS-CoV-2 genotyping from more than 20,000 viral genome samples. The researchers analyzed mutations to the spike protein - a protein primarily responsible for facilitating infection and found that five of the six known virus subtypes are now more infectious.
 
According to the research team as with any virus, many mutations are ultimately benign, posing little to no risk to infected patients. Some mutations even reduce infectiousness. But some mutations lead to a more infectious virus.
 
Dr Wei and his team have studied and analyzed mutation patterns and locations for months, tracking changes against the official viral genome sample captured in January.

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Dr Wei told Thailand Medical News, “Knowledge about the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 is a vital factor for preventive measurements against COVID-19 and reopening the global economy. A crucial question is what are the ramifications of these mutations to COVID-19 transmission, diagnostics, prevention and treatment.”
 
Typically, viral infection occurs when the spike protein interacts with a human host cell receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 or ACE2 for short. As it relates to ACE2, scientists are concerned about a concept known as binding affinity, or the strength of the binding interaction between the spike protein and host receptor during the initial stage of infection.
 
Dr Wei added, “Viral infectivity increases if the binding affinity strengthens. Currently, more than 50 mutations have been found along with the binding interface on the spike proteins receptor-binding doma in or RBD for short which has 194 possible mutation sites.”
 
Dr Wei’s machine learning model, an advanced neural network, analyzed more than 8,000 protein interaction records to determine the impact of the current known mutations on the binding affinity of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The result, which suggested increased binding affinity in five of the six known subtypes, indicated that infectivity may have increased as a result of the mutations.
 
Deeply concerned about the potential for further mutation, Dr Wei and his team turned their model to the future.
 
Dr Wei further added, “It’s extremely important to know whether future SARS-CoV-2 subtypes would pose an imminent danger to public health. To this end, we have conducted a systematic screening of all possible 3,686 future mutations on 194 possible mutation sites along the RBD.”
 
Dr Wei’s model predicts that multiple residues on the receptor-binding motif a component area of the RBD have high chances to mutate into more infectious COVID-19 strains.
 
The study team however cautions that although artificial intelligence based predictions are consistent with available experimental findings, further studies are needed to fully understand mutation impacts on COVID-19 infectivity, which is vital to the public health response to COVID-19.
 
Dr Wei and team also predicts that the novel coronavirus spreading around the world is slightly more infectious than the original SARS virus discovered in 2003.
 
Dr Wei said the results align with those of another study recently published by researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida. This study examined spike protein mutations in a laboratory setting, also finding that the virus is mutating in ways that increase its infectiousness.
 
Dr Wei is a faculty member in MSU’s College of Natural Science in the departments of Mathematics and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and in the College of Engineering in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 
 
The team will be publishing their new findings shortly.
 
In view so many vaccine candidates developments taking place and huge monies spent on them along with huge gambles and profits taking place in the pharma world with drugs with no real proven efficacy such as remdesivir and actemra along with the ongoing economic slumps, governments, pharmaceutical companies and even researchers are trying to downplay on the seriousness of the various mutations taking place and the newer emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains in order to maximize profits and secure their power before the second wave ultimately comes (yes we are still using the term second wave…WHO’s talk on terminology  and about the second wave is as usual misinformation as the incompetent buffoons never got anything right since day one!). But expect the impact of these evolving strains not only in terms of  its growing infectious nature but also the way it is going to destroy the human body slowly and gradually. We are now seeing day by day newer symptoms and ways the novel coronavirus affects the human body coupled with the way it can survive the heat and now is found to be not only airborne but is also capable of surviving in the water supplies for a long time and also in the frozen states. More reports are also emerging about the long term health implications of those who ahev recovered and also those who are asymptomatic. It already a widely acpted fact that this pandemic is expected to last for another 3 to 5 years and that the situation is expected to worsen even with claims of an 'effective; vaccine coming. 
 
For more in COVID-19 Mutations, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

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