According to the latest study, researchers found out that the SARS-CoV-2 or also known as the COVID-19 is being mutated by human proteins that degrade it, however, natural selection of the virus enables it to bounce back into its normal form.
The United Kingdom's University of Edinburgh and the University of Bath's scientists shared that they are currently conducting research that could help design or formulate the vaccines that will combat the virus.
In their released statement, the Universities' researchers emphasized that all organisms mutate, and it is normally a random process as a result of mistakes made during the copying process of the DNA.
They also added that in the case of COVID-19 or the SARS-CoV-2, mutation may well not be a random process, and instead humans are mutating the virus.
The conducted study is published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
After studying more than 15,000 virus genomes from research projects all over the planet, the said scientists found and identified 6,000 cases of mutation.
While observing the virus, they are looking at how much each of the four letters that consists of the virus' genetic code (A, C, U, and G) were having their mutation.
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They also discovered that the virus had a very high rate of mutations generating U residues. According to the scientists, the mutation normally generated by UU neighboring pairs, which mutates from the original sequence of UC and CU, Fox reported.
Based on their explanation, it is the mutational profile of APOBEC's fingerprint (Apolipoprotein B mRNA Editing Catalytic Polypeptide-like), a specific human protein that is responsible for mutating viruses.
Researchers also cited that the natural selection, the law of survival of the fittest, allows the virus to fight back and avoid the mutational process.
Director of the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath and lead author Professor Laurence Hurst shared in his statement that he has looked at multiple mutational profiles for numerous organisms and they all exhibit some sort of bias, but this is different for him as it is the strongest and strangest that he had seen so far.
The results of the research can be a great help for the vaccine design.
Hurst also added that by knowing what selection favors and disfavors in the virus is a great help in having a better understanding as to what an attenuated version should look like.
Researchers also suggest that the increasing U content would be logical, as APOBEC does within our cells, would be a very sensible strategy.
According to the information gathered and compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the United Kingdom is one of the most impacted countries by the COVID-19 pandemic having 298, 731 cases with 45, 639 deaths.
Based on the latest numbers gathered Across the globe, as of Friday morning, there are 15.5 million cases of coronavirus that have been diagnosed, and more than 4 million of which came from the United States. The worldwide death toll reached over 634,000, and it includes the 144,000 deaths in the US.