Scientists are closely tracking mutations in the novel coronavirus, hoping that the virus evolves fast enough to give researchers hints about its future, but slow enough that the same researchers can make sense of, and keep up with, the changes.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Efforts to contain the virus and treat the people it infects both hinge in part on the pathogen’s mutation rate.
So far, SARS-CoV-2 is cooperating. The virus is mutating at a rate, and with effects, that most experts consider normal. “I’ve not seen any evidence of mutations that should cause significant concern,” Oscar MacLean, a University of Glasgow bioinformatician, told The Daily Beast.