The C.1.2 strain, which is linked to ‘increased transmissibility’, is more mutations away from the original virus seen in Wuhan, experts at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform said.
In their study scientists found the strain, which descends from the C.1 strain that was first spotted amid the first wave of the pandemic, has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year.
This rate is nearly double the current global mutation rate seen in any other Variant of Concern (VOC) so far.
During their study, researchers found a monthly increase in the number of C.1.2 genomes in South Africa, rising from 0.2 per cent in May to 1.6 per cent in June and 2.0 per cent in July.
This short period of consistent increase has also been spotted in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants.
Scientists also found 14 mutations in nearly 50 per cent of the variants which had a C.1.2 sequence.
While more research is required ‘to determine the functional impact of these mutations’, scientists warned the latest variant, which has ‘mutated substantially’, could help the virus evade antibodies and immune responses.
In their report, which was published in the journal Nature, the scientists said: ‘We describe and characterise a newly identified SARS-CoV-2 lineage with several spike mutations that is likely to have emerged in a major metropolitan area in South Africa after the first wave of the epidemic, and then to have spread to multiple locations within two neighbouring provinces.
‘We show that this lineage has rapidly expanded and become dominant in three provinces, at the same time as there has been a rapid resurgence in infections.
‘Although the full import of the mutations is not yet clear, the genomic and epidemiological data suggest that this variant has a selective advantage—from increased transmissibility, immune escape or both.
‘These data highlight the urgent need to refocus the public health response in South Africa on driving transmission down to low levels, not only to reduce hospitalisations and deaths but also to limit the spread of this lineage and the further evolution of the virus.’
As they grow, solid tumors surround themselves with a thick, hard-to-penetrate wall of molecular defenses. Getting drugs past that barricade is notoriously difficult. Now, scientists at UT Southwestern have developed nanoparticles that can break [...]
In an article recently published in the journal Talanta, researchers demonstrated a new approach to enable the specific detection of biomarkers in human tear by employing an aptamer-based graphene affinity nanosensor. The ability to detect [...]
Selenium (Se) is an essential element found in aquatic feeds that promotes the proper development, wellbeing, and fitness of marine animals. Selenium can be transformed into nanomaterials that are more easily accessible, absorbed, and consumed by [...]
In an article recently published in the journal Nanotechnology, researchers employed a single particle imaging method for fluorescence excitation with moderate intensity to achieve spatial resolution. Here, the semiconductor nanocrystals were accessed, whose emission lifetimes [...]
Grinding is an essential manufacturing process, yet the heat due to friction associated with the process causes damage to the part being processed. Lubrication is used to reduce friction; however, traditional petroleum-based lubricants can [...]
A team of researchers from HSE University, Skoltech, MPGU, and MISIS have developed a nanophotonic-microfluidic sensor whose potential applications include cancer detection, monitoring and treatment response assessment. Today, the device can identify gases and [...]
Researchers have made a scientific breakthrough with the development of ‘nanomachines’ that can kill cancerous cells. The research team headed by Dr Youngdo Jeong from the Center for Advanced Biomolecular Recognition at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has engineered [...]
A novel freeze-dissolving approach has been devised that offers greater efficiency and sustainability compared to the classic freeze-drying process to make superfine powder or nanoparticles. In the research published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, sphere-shaped [...]
Participants wanted for study on the regulation of what future AI-driven nanomedicines should look like
Would you like to help in some research on the regulation of what future AI-driven nanomedicines should look like? If so, researchers at the University of Bristol are looking for volunteers to discuss ethical [...]
In an article recently published in the journal Applied Surface Science, the researchers synthesized green fluorescent carbon dots (G-CDs) from 3,5-diaminobenzoic acid and citric acid. The as-prepared G-CDs were used to target the nucleolus and [...]
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a powerful anti-cancer medication, and efforts have been made to design nanostructures for delivering it to cancerous cells. The nanostructures increase the cytotoxic effects of DOX on cancerous cells, while reducing the negative effects [...]
A team of Brown University researchers has developed a new responsive material that is able to release encapsulated cargo only when pathogenic bacteria are present. The material could be used to make wound dressings [...]
Novel three-drug regimen used to manage life-threatening developments. In April 2021, a 42-year-old man reached out to Brian Hill, MD, PhD, for a second opinion after being diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia following a bone [...]
When the virus hunters landed in the remote African village of Yambuku in 1976, the nuns warned them to stay back. The sisters had cordoned off the area where they were caring for people [...]