Canadian Scientists release first molecular images of B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19

first molecular image of B.1.1.7One of the first near-atomic level images of the mutation in the B.1.1.7 variant of the Covid-19 virus. (Supplied photo/ UBC)

Researchers at a Canadian University have published the first structural images of a mutation in the B.1.1.7 variant of the Covid-19 virus that may explain why it has proved far more infectious than the previous strain, causing a rapid rise in cases.

The images, taken at near-atomic resolution, show the N501Y mutation on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The images were captured using cryo-electron microscopes. In a statement, the University of British Columbia said the pictures provided insight into why the B.1.1.7 mutation is more infectious.

The B.1.1.7 variant has an “unusually large” number of mutations, the UBC statement said. The N501Y mutation is located on the virus’s spike protein, through which the virus attaches itself to human cells.

Source: Money Control

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