Has the Coronavirus Mutated? (Abstract Science, May 3 - 9)
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Mary Parker

Has the Coronavirus Mutated? (Abstract Science, May 3 - 9)

Also: the potential of blood thinners to treat COVID-19, and a map of a mouse brain 

Studies Have Found New Mutations in The Coronavirus. Here's What That Means 

(Jacinta Bowler, ScienceAlert, 5/6/20) 

The article cites two studies, from Arizona State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory, that each investigated possible mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although the virus has not shown a lot of mutation, it has showed some, and those mutations could be affecting its transmissibility. The Los Alamos team plans to track mutations in the virus, especially related to the infamous spike protein that is a popular target for potential vaccines. 

Blood thinners show promise for boosting the survival chances of the sickest COVID patients 

(Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post, 5/7/20) 

A review of medical records for COVID-19 patients has implied that blood thinners may be effective at treating patients with severe cases. In a report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, authors from Mount Sinai described their observations of the charts of almost 3,000 patients. Unexplained blood clots have caused complications for many COVID-19 patients, which could explain the report’s findings. 

Study spotlights the Allen Institute’s latest 3-D reference atlas of the mouse brain 

(Alan Boyle, GeekWire, 5/7/20) 

The third version of the Allen Institute for Brain Science’s mouse brain atlas was recently completed and promoted in the journal Cell. The Allen Mouse Brain Common Coordinate Framework now offers high resolution 3D renderings of a mouse brain, down to individual cells. The team responsible used 1,675 mouse brain scans to build their model, which were manually labeled by the team. Future versions may rely on AI once the models have been trained enough to produce accurate results. 

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker