What are the new coronavirus variants and how do we monitor them? – podcast | Science

Over the course of the pandemic, scientists have been monitoring rising genetic modifications to Sars-Cov-2. Mutations happen naturally because the virus replicates but when they confer a bonus – like being extra transmissible – that variant of the virus could go on to proliferate. This was the case with the ‘UK’ or B117 variant, which is about 50% extra contagious and is quickly spreading across the nation. So how does genetic surveillance of the virus work? And what do we all know in regards to the new variants? Ian Pattern speaks to Dr Jeffrey Barrett, the director of the Covid-19 genomics initiative on the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to seek out out

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