Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Variants and Vaccination

Public health officials are pushing for greater SARS-CoV-2 vaccination to combat the rise of additional viral variants, CNN says.

"Unvaccinated people are potential variant factories," William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University Medical Center tells it.

CNN notes that mutations arise in all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, adding that SARS-CoV-2 is not actually very mutation-prone. Most mutations that do crop up have little effect, but some weaken the virus and others can give the virus an edge. That, it adds, can allow them to out-compete other versions of the virus and establish themselves as a viral variant. For instance, the Alpha variant, which was first uncovered in the UK, was found to be more transmissible than the original viral strain, and now is being replaced by the Delta variant, which is itself more transmissible than the Alpha variant.

But, CNN adds, if the virus can't spread, it can't mutate. However, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are about 1,000 US counties in which less than 30 percent of the population is vaccinated.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.