Mutation Allows Coronavirus to Infect More Cells, Study Finds. Scientists Urge Caution.

June 12, 2020

(New York Times) – For months, scientists have debated why one genetic variation of the coronavirus became dominant in many parts of the world. Many scientists argue that the variation spread widely by chance, multiplying outward from explosive outbreaks in Europe. Others have proposed the possibility that a mutation gave it some kind of biological edge and have been urgently investigating the effect of that mutation. Now, scientists have shown — at least in the tightly controlled environment of a laboratory cell culture — that viruses carrying that particular mutation infect more cells and are more resilient than those without it.