Covid-19: Omicron mutations may provide clues to its origin

Mutations are apparently at work to render the new variant of the coronavirus more effective at spreading, experts suggest.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Omicron's exceptionally large number of mutations on the gene that helps the coronavirus spread may provide clues as to how it developed, according to a computer analysis of the variant.

The coexistence of mutations in the so-called S gene, which would normally inhibit the virus' ability to thrive, suggests that the changes are instead working to help the variant become more effective at spreading, according to a blog post by researchers led by Associate Professor Darren Martin of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

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