Sidebars

From the key concepts of mutation to how coronaviruses get into cells- posts on key background information can be found here.


The UK Variant: What We Know and What We Don’t

This sidebar was fact-checked by Manolya Sag. Viruses, with their large numbers and fast replication time, are always evolving. For the RNA virus SARS-CoV-2, mutations are constantly occurring during its replication. In fact, it has been estimated by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium that approximately 4000 mutations have arisen in the virus’ spike protein alone. … Continue reading The UK Variant: What We Know and What We Don’t

Hide-and-seek: how SARS-CoV-2 hides from our immune system

The hidden war between viruses and host cells has influenced the evolution of all life on earth. For millions of years, viruses have acquired and refined weapons to undermine cell defenses and redirect cellular processes to the task of viral replication. Surviving cells created defenses to stave off initial attacks and “remember” attacks, so more … Continue reading Hide-and-seek: how SARS-CoV-2 hides from our immune system

Overcoming Middle World

By Jacob L. Fine (Image from here) The world we see is not the world that is. Our sense organs were sculpted by natural selection to help us survive in what the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins calls Middle World. He is quick to distinguish this from the J. R. R. Tolkien’s land of hobbits and … Continue reading Overcoming Middle World

Video Sidebar: SARS-CoV-2 VS Other Coronaviruses

References Link to Attenuation of replication by a 29 nucleotide deletion in SARS-coronavirus acquired during the early stages of human-to-human transmission paper in Nature Scientific Reports https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-33487-8 Link to Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) report https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf Link to Preliminary estimation of the basic reproduction number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) … Continue reading Video Sidebar: SARS-CoV-2 VS Other Coronaviruses

Sidebar: Healthcare Heroes in Wuhan, China

Author’s Note The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our healthcare heroes. As the on-going pandemic continues, many of our healthcare heroes are continually risking their lives to help fight the battle. I personally wanted to celebrate our healthcare heroes by highlighting research that describes the experiences of healthcare professionals. Thus, I hope this … Continue reading Sidebar: Healthcare Heroes in Wuhan, China

Video Sidebar: Wrapping up- Where Did SARS-CoV-2 come from?

Before we launch into the video, we should first define the term “Divergent Evolution,” which Demitri defines as: When at least 2 groups of the same species that originate from the same parent species independently acquire differences that are necessary for persistence in their respective environments. You can find out more about divergent evolution here. … Continue reading Video Sidebar: Wrapping up- Where Did SARS-CoV-2 come from?

Video Sidebar: Genetics of SARS-CoV-2

Today’s video goes through a genetic and biochemical analysis of SARS-CoV-2 References: Slide 1:•       Full sequence for Bat-CoV RaTG13 was not known (not in database) prior to the pandemic. The group that isolated Bat-CoV RaTG13 had originally sequenced just the polymerase. Upon a hit with the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase, the group retrieved the frozen isolate (which had … Continue reading Video Sidebar: Genetics of SARS-CoV-2

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