Scripp Institute Has Detected The Mutation That Most Scientist Dread: The D614G Mutation Which Could Make The SARS-CoV-2 More Infectious
: Genomic researchers and virologist from Scripp Research Institute in Florida say they believe the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has mutated in a way that makes it more easily infect human cells.
The researchers say more research is needed to show whether the change has altered the course of the pandemic, but at least one researcher not involved in the study says it likely has, and the changes may explain why the virus has caused so many infections in the United States and Latin America.
This is a mutation that scientists have been worried about for weeks.
The researchers from Scripps Research Institute said the mutation affects the spike protein- a structure on the outside of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that it uses to get into cells. If the findings are confirmed, it would be the first time someone has demonstrated that changes seen in the virus have significance for the pandemic. Though the research is published on a preprint server, it is currently being peer-reviewed and already many other professionals are agreeing with the research findings. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.12.148726v1
Scripps Research virologist Dr Hyeryun Choe, who helped lead the study, told Thailand Medical News, "Viruses with this mutation were much more infectious than those without the mutation in the cell culture system we used."
Interestingly only this week, the World Health Organization said the mutations seen so far in the new coronavirus would not affect the efficacy of vaccines under development. Also last week, WHO said mutations had not made it more easily transmissible, nor had they made the virus more likely to cause serious illness. (It should be noted that incompetent WHO which is indirectly ‘owned’ by China has been a source of a lot of misinformation and fake news since the initial outbreak.)
The research team ran a series of experiments in lab dishes that show a mutation called D614G gives the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus many more spikes, and makes those spikes more stable. That in turn makes it easier for it to get into cells.
Professor Dr William Haseltine, a virologist, biotechnology entrepreneur and chairman of Access Health International who was not involved in the study believes the findings explain the easy spread of the coronavirus across the Americas.
Dr Haseltine told media, "It is significant because it shows the virus can change, does change to its advantage and possibly to our disadvantage. It has done a good job so far of adapting to human culture. You can see in some places it doesn't get very far and in other places it has a field day."
Researchers have been freely sharing the sequences of the virus which, like all viruses, mutates constantly.
Sometime in the middle of January, there was a change that allowed the virus to become more infectious. It doesn't mean it's more lethal. It makes it about 10 times more infectious."
There were other research studies that had also suspected this. In April, Bette Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory and colleagues published their concerns, also on BioRxiv, calling the D614G mutation "of urgent concern" because it had become by far the most common strain spreading in Europe and the US. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.29.069054v2
They said then, "It began spreading in Europe in early February, and when introduced to new regions it rapidly becomes the dominant form." However at that time, once again many ignorant and stupid so called “experts’ disputed this. There also seem to be a trend by many to deny mutations or major genomic changes of the virus, perhaps as a result of heavy lobbying by pharma and biotech companies involved in vaccine developments who are ripping of many by the huge investments and funding they are taking in.
Dr Haseltine said the Scripps team showed this in three separate experiments.
He stressed, "They measured this in three very elegant ways, not just one."
The new mutation allows the virus not only to attach to cells more easily, but to enter them more easily.
Typically when viruses infect, they hijack their victim's cells and turn them into viral factories, pumping out copy after copy of viruses. They first must find a way into cells to do this.
Dr Korber, who has a different analysis under consideration for publication, said "it was nice to see the result considering they are so many deliberately denying the existence of mutated strains.”
Dr Haseltine said the implications are important. Other researchers had hoped that the coronavirus would not prove to be as prone to mutation as other viruses that use RNA instead of DNA as their genetic material. Influenza, notorious for its mutations, is an RNA virus.
Dr Haseltine said, "It means that we have to be on the alert for constant change. This virus is going to respond to whatever we do to control it. We make a drug; it is going to resist it. We make a vaccine; it is going to try to get around it. We stay at home; it is going to figure out how to hang around longer."
Readers are advised not to share this article on facebook platforms as facebook employs a lot of non-credible fact checkers who like terming a lot of research studies by credible institutions as false news on their platforms. Also facebook itself is an unethical company and whenever any sites do not advertise with them but has a lot of shares, their staff will find ways to label the article as false if it shared too much. Even when they retract such accusation after appealing, they do not bother to compensate for the damages that they have done but instead blame it on some algorithm error. In the past , facebook and its staff had labelled these three articles as being false without any proper scientific justifications. In a recent case, they labelled research findings by the Singapore Government owned hospital: Singapore General Hospital and its credible doctors as fake.
Another article which WHO itself has also endorsed as using spraying disinfectants being more harmful was also termed as false by the platform and its staff.
And yet another article that was termed as false by facebook despite being proven to be correct by by many researchers while facebook does not have any supporting scientific justifications.
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