All you need to know about COVID-19 virus variants and their mutations

As new variants of coronavirus keep emerging, the same mutations are found to be cropping up again and again in these variants, making the virus more troublesome and deadly. What are these mutations, what do they do, and what do they mean for the pandemic? Here’s answer to these questions. Take a look…

May 13, 2021 / 07:44 PM IST
As new variants of coronavirus keep emerging, the same mutations are found to be cropping up again and again in these variants, making the virus more troublesome and deadly. What are these mutations, what do they do, and what do they mean for the pandemic? Here’s answer to these questions. Take a look… (Image: News18 Creative)
As new variants of coronavirus keep emerging, the same mutations are found to be cropping up again and again in these variants, making the virus more troublesome and deadly. What are these mutations, what do they do, and what do they mean for the pandemic? Here’s answer to these questions. Take a look… (Image: News18 Creative)
When the coronavirus infects human cells, its genetic code, encoded in about 30,000 letters of RNA of the virus – a, c, g and u - is copied to make new virus particles, carrying copies of the original genome. (Image: News18 Creative)
When the coronavirus infects human cells, its genetic code, encoded in about 30,000 letters of RNA of the virus – a, c, g and u - is copied to make new virus particles, carrying copies of the original genome. (Image: News18 Creative)
Most mutations have little effect, but sometimes the virus benefits from a mutation. It may allow the virus to latch on to human cells more effectively, or evade-some of the immune defences the body builds after previous infection or vaccination. (Image: News18 Creative)
Most mutations have little effect, but sometimes the virus benefits from a mutation. It may allow the virus to latch on to human cells more effectively, or evade-some of the immune defences the body builds after previous infection or vaccination. (Image: News18 Creative)
The mutations change the shape of the virus’s spike in a particular way – so that it fits better to the ACE2 receptor. So the spike can bind more tightly to the cell or more quickly. (Image: News18 Creative)
The mutations change the shape of the virus’s spike in a particular way – so that it fits better to the ACE2 receptor. So the spike can bind more tightly to the cell or more quickly. (Image: News18 Creative)
Mutations have been happening from the start. Many of the early mutations helped the virus adapt to humans. (Image: News18 Creative)
Mutations have been happening from the start. Many of the early mutations helped the virus adapt to humans. (Image: News18 Creative)
N501Y, also known as Nelly, is one of the most common mutations, appeared in the UK, South African as well as Brazilian variants. (Image: News18 Creative)
N501Y, also known as Nelly, is one of the most common mutations, appeared in the UK, South African as well as Brazilian variants. (Image: News18 Creative)
There are other mutations as well, like K417N and E484K. (Image: News18 Creative)
There are other mutations as well, like K417N and E484K. (Image: News18 Creative)
12 virus mutation
When several matching mutations appear in variants around the world, it means the virus in different parts of the world is finding the same way to adapt to evolutionary pressure. In other words, convergent evolution is at work. (Image: News18 Creative)
When several matching mutations appear in variants around the world, it means the virus in different parts of the world is finding the same way to adapt to evolutionary pressure. In other words, convergent evolution is at work. (Image: News18 Creative)
Some genetic changes are thought to help the virus adapt to its new human host. Other mutations may have occurred to evade immunity in the population. The same mutation can affect both aspects of the virus’ behaviour. (Image: News18 Creative)
Some genetic changes are thought to help the virus adapt to its new human host. Other mutations may have occurred to evade immunity in the population. The same mutation can affect both aspects of the virus’s behaviour. (Image: News18 Creative)
Some genetic changes are thought to help the virus adapt to its new human host. Other mutations may have occurred to evade immunity in the population. The same mutation can affect both aspects of the virus’s behaviour. (Image: News18 Creative)
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 13, 2021 07:44 pm

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