The genome of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has remained relatively stable during its global spread, suggesting that a vaccine could confer long-term protection, according to The Washington Post. Although all replicating viruses accumulate some mutations that persist due to natural selection, the genetics of SARS-CoV-2 suggest that it is not mutating at a high rate, researchers report. They tell the Post that the virus’s proofreading machinery reduces both the rate of mutation and the error rate, and that no strains appear to be more dangerous than others.
“The virus has not mutated to any significant extent,” virologist Stanley Perlman of the University of Iowa agrees in a comment to the Post.
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