An interesting read from NPR on the branching evolution of the virus.
In fact, the SARS-CoV-2 family tree seemed a bit boring, like a young sapling tree with one main trunk rising up into the sky and a few tiny little branches.
Then in December 2020, the course of the pandemic shifted. And Luban and Gupta proved prophetic.
Scientists in South Africa and the U.K. detected the first two variants of concern: alpha and beta. All of a sudden, the virus began to change rapidly. Instead of having only a few mutations as earlier variants did, these variants had around 20 mutations each.
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