Mutate or die, stupid!

Mutations are like identity cards of many viruses.

Viruses do not mutate because they want to do it.

It is a random phenomenon of nature.

Nucleic Acids. Image credit: NIH. National Human Genome Research Institute.

A virus is, as someone said, an enigma enclosed in a layer of lipids.

Viruses are like biological squatters. Image credits: PA. The Guardian.


A mutation is a minimal, single-letter change in the genome.

The coronavirus has a genetic text with errors.

Figure 1. The panel above shows the G614 mutation appearance in February 2020. There is an increase in May-June. The bottom panel expresses the infection’s size. The figure on the right (all blue) with the G614 mutation produces more copies of the virus (viral load). Image credits: Cell, 2020: 182 (4): 812–827.

A viral variant is sweeping England and the world.

An intriguing clue is that it presents at least 17 mutations or changes in the S (Spike) protein. One of them is N501Y, the media star of the moment.

Figure 2. Covid-19 case reporting rate in England per 100,000 population and age group (16 December 2020). The age curves increase after September in people under 65 (and very young). Image credits: ECDC.

We must not disregard the human factor’s participation as one of great importance in the British. And also in the world epidemiological disaster.

For the moment, the coronavirus is only spreading more and better.

It seems a good idea to get vaccinated when our times arrive.

Nurse vaccinating a person with one of the vaccines. Credit: The Associated Press.



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Agustín Muñoz-Sanz

Medical Doctor (Infectious Diseases specialist/Professor of Medicine) and writer (narrative, theater).