A new analysis of COVID19 coronavirus genomes from over 15,000 Covid-19 patients from 75 countries has found that none of the new mutations appears to be transmitted at a higher rate. The study, which is published today as a pre-print and has not yet been peer-reviewed, builds on another recent, peer-reviewed study published in the journal Infection, Genetics, and Evolution. The previous study characterized patterns of diversity emerging in the genome of SARS-CoV-2.
“We employed a novel technique to determine whether viruses with the new mutation are actually transmitted at a higher rate, and found that none of the candidate mutations appear to be benefiting the virus,” lead author Professor Francois Balloux (University College London Genetics Institute) said in a statement.
Coronaviruses can develop mutations in three different ways: by mistake from copying errors during viral replication; through interactions with other viruses infecting the same cell; or as a result of the immune response of the host. Most mutations are neutral, while others are advantageous or detrimental to the virus.
The research team from multiple institutions has so far identified 6,822 mutations in SARS-CoV-2 across the global dataset. Of those, the researchers honed in on 31 mutations which have occurred at least 10 times independently during the course of the pandemic.
The researchers modeled the virus’s evolutionary tree and analyzed whether a particular mutation was becoming increasingly common within a given branch of the evolutionary tree.
The researchers found no evidence that any of the common mutations are increasing the virus’s transmissibility. Instead, they found some common mutations are neutral, but most are mildly detrimental to the virus.
The mutations analyzed included one in the virus spike protein called D614G, which has been widely reported as being a common mutation that may make the virus more transmissible. The researchers said the new evidence suggests this mutation is, in fact, not associated with increased transmission.
The researchers found most of the common mutations appear to have been induced by the human immune system, rather than being the result of the virus adapting to its novel human host.
An Earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 felt in Nepal, India and China
An earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 hit Nepal, India, and China at around 03.00 pm IST. Tremors were felt in Nepal with light tremors in some cities like Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, and Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.
The epicenter is said to be 10 km from Phulpingkatti in Nepal. More updates are awaited.
London Bridge Down: Death of Queen Elizabeth brings a moment of reckoning for Britain
LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II has died in Scotland aged 96 after battling health problems since last October, the Royal Family announced Thursday. Doctors had placed the queen under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands.
Buckingham Palace has just released the following statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her close family rushed to her bedside as doctors grew “concerned” about her health on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said. Her grandson and his wife, Harry and Meghan Markle – who had a public showdown with the Palace, flew in from Canada.
According to news agency AFP, the Queen pulled out of a planned meeting with her senior political advisors on Wednesday, after being told to rest. The previous day she had audiences at Balmoral – her Scottish Highlands retreat, with outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appointed his successor, Liz Truss.
In recent months, the Queen appeared visibly frail and had a series of withdrawals from public engagements. She had taken to walking with a stick and was also seen touring the Chelsea Flower Show in a motorized buggy.
In June, the UK came together for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the British throne. Her husband, Prince Phillip, died last year at the age of 99, two months before his 100th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
Bharat Ratna awardee and true gem Lata Mangeshkar Ji is no more
The nightingale of the music industry, Lata Mangeshkar Ji passed away on February 6 at the age of 92 in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. She was born on September 29, 1929. Very few singers have achieved the admiration that she did in her life.
She sang thousands of songs in more than 20 different languages. Not only in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, she was also admired and praised in western countries.
PM Modi was among the first ones to share the sad news. “The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he tweeted.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she received numerous honors like the Daughter of the Nation award, the Legion of Honour award from the French government, and many more. Lata Mangeshkar truly was a gift that India will never cease cherishing.
We at Giveupnot pay our heartly tributes to her and wish that “unki aatma ko sadgati prapt ho”, OM SHANTI.