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Can scientists predict all of the ways the coronavirus will evolve? – The Conversation UK

Coronavirus is 30,000 RNA ‘letters’ long, meaning there are over a quintillion possible genome permutations.



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Late last year, three distinct and fast-spreading coronavirus variants were observed in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. More recently, variants in India, the USand elsewhere are causing alarm. Does the emergence of these variants portend a protracted battle with the pandemic, or will the virus soon run out of evolutionary room to manoeuvre and settle down as a more benign, endemic pathogen?
Predictions about the evolutionary course of the virus, and specifically changes in virulence, will always…

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