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Study Analyzes How SARS Virus Changed As It Spread Across the Globe

A study from Singapore published online in The Lancet today traces the genetic variance between 14 isolates of the SARS virus from four different countries.


Researchers led by Edison Liu from the Genome Institute of Singapore sequenced the SARS genome of cultured isolates from five patients in Singapore and compared it to sequences of viral isolates from Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou (China), Canada, and Vietnam.


They identified 129 sequence variations with 16 recurrent variant sequences. Common variant sequences at four loci defined two distinct genotypes of the SARS virus in China; other common sequence variants further distinguished the geographical origins of the isolates, especially between Singapore and Beijing.


According to scientists from the University of Ottawa, Canada, who published a comment in The Lancet, the observed mutations may be due to adaptation in culture and suggest a remarkable genetic conservation of the virus since the outbreak was first documented. "SARS-CoV is not likely to change rapidly and thus may not readily mutate to a benign infection, as seen with most other infectious agents transmitted by direct contact," the scientists state. However, they add: "The apparent genetic stability makes a vaccine seem more achievable."


InforSense Donates KDE Software to Shanghai for SARS Research (March 8, 2003)

CombiMatrix Develops siRNA to Target SARS Virus (May 7, 2003)


Focus Tech Claims First RT-PCR SARS Diagnostic (May 5, 2003)

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Roche to Launch RT-PCR-based SARS Diagnostic by July (April 28, 2003)

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NCID said to Launch PCR Test for SARS Next Week ( ///issues/news//121956-1.html""Arial, Helvetica">CombiMatrix's Ali Arjomand on Developing a SARS Microarray (BioArray News, April 25, 2003)

///issues/news//121956-1.html"">University of Manitoba Proteomics Researchers Tackle SARS Virus Proteins (ProteoMonitor, April 21, 2003)
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Singapore Genome Institute Joins SARS Sequencing Fray (April 16, 2003)

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CDC Completes SARS Virus Genome Draft On Heels of Canadian Team  (April 14, 2003)


The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.