Coronavirus origin revealed: it’s a mix of genes. Research


    <h2>A U.S. study found out how the Covid-19 virus originated</h2>


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    <p>No more mystery: the<strong>origin of the coronavirus</strong> which has caused tens of thousands of deaths worldwide. The Sars-CoV-2 is a <strong>mix of genes</strong> inherited from the coronaviruses of the <strong>bat</strong> he was born in <strong>pangolin</strong>. This was stated in research published in the journal Science Advances and conducted in the USA under the guidance of the Italian Elena Giorgi, who works in the laboratories of Los Alamos, and Feng Gao, of Duke University.

By analyzing the genetic sequences of the virus, the researchers confirmed that its closest relative it is the coronavirus that infects bats, but which has acquired the ability to infect humans thanks to a fragment of genetic material received by the virus that infects the pangolin.

“The coronavirus sequences collected by the pangolins we discuss in our study had already been examined, however, the scientific community was still divided on whether they had played a role in the evolution of Sars-CoV-2,” Giorgi told Handle.

In research, he added, “we have shown that indeed Sars-CoV-2 has a rich evolutionary history that includes a genetic material reshuffle between bat coronavirus and pangolin before it acquired its ability to jump in humans. ”

Researchers report this jump from one species to another it was the result of the virus’s ability to bind to host cells through alterations in its genetic material. It is as if the virus had rearranged the key that allows it to unlock the door of a host cell, in this case a human cell.

In the case of Sars-CoV-2, the “key” is the protein spike which is found on the surface of the virus and which coronaviruses use to bind to cells and infect them. It has been discovered that in bat coronavirus, the binding site of the spike protein, i.e. the part of the protein needed to bind to the human cell membrane, is different from that of Sars-CoV-2 and cannot efficiently infect human cells. .

The typical pangolin coronaviruses, on the other hand, despite being very different from Sars-CoV-2, contain the part of the spike protein needed to bind to the human cell membrane and which is important for infecting humans.

VIRGILIO NEWS | 01-06-2020 12:42

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