Coronavirus Carnage: Deadly virus has already mutated eight times say scientists
On average, the virus is mutating every 15 days. However, researchers have concluded the strains are not getting more deadly. NextStrain, an open database in which virus sequences were uploaded, co-founder Trevor Bedford told National Geographic: “These mutations are completely benign and useful as a puzzle piece to uncover how the virus is spreading.
Identifying different strains could help ascertain whether measures against it have been effective.
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Mr Bedford explained: “We’ll be able to tell how much less transmission we’re seeing and answer the question, ‘Can we take our foot off the gas?”
Charles Chiu of the University of California told USA Today scientists have the facilities to do genetic sequencing and work out transmission almost in real time.
Cases on the west coast of the US have been linked to a strain first identified in Washington state
This strain is three strains away from the original.
On the east coast, the virus has gone from China to Europe then to New York.
Kristian Andersen, a Scripps Research professor said the data was not the full picture.
Speaking to USA Today she said: “Remember, we’re seeing a very small glimpse into the much larger pandemic.
“We have half a million described cases right now but maybe 1,000 genomes sequenced.
“So there are a lot of lineages we’re missing.”
Scientists from other specialisations have also made contributions to understanding and fighting the virus.
Physicists furloughed at CERN, the Swiss lab have released a design for a ventilator to help ease coronavirus shortages.
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The designer says it is easy to make and integrate with hospitals.
The published production proposal from 31 physicists and engineers says it is meant to address the needs of those in long term care or in their recovery phase.
It is not intended to replace “high-end devices needed for the most intense phase of treatment”.
On March 27, a successful test was undertaken to work out whether the device will not cause long-term damage to lungs.
The team are seeking feedback to move on to development and deployment.
A report in the CERN Courier said the project came about “when lead-designer Jan Buytaert (CERN) realised that the systems which are routinely used to supply and control gas at desired temperatures and pressures in particle-physics detectors are well matched to the techniques required to build and operate a ventilator”.
CERN is the largest particle physics lab in the world.
It is located in northwestern Geneva.
The lab contains the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator.
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