Researchers said Sunday they have identified a batch of similar troubling mutations in coronavirus samples circulating in the United States.

Iran Press/America: The genetic stretch that is mutated, or changed, is called 677. The various changes are so similar that the researchers think evolution favors these particular variants. And it's in a troubling place, Vaughn Cooper, director of the Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who worked on the study had told CNN.

 "This stretch of Spike is important because of its proximity to a region key for virulence," Cooper said. 

"We actually think these mutations are relatively rare (compared to other types of mutation), but they are disproportionately selected when then occur," he added.

The team has been reviewing genomic sequences deposited into GISAID, a global database that researchers use to share genetic information about the virus. It's where scientists first noticed the rise of troubling new variants such as B.1.1.7, first seen in the United Kingdom, and B.1.351, first seen in South Africa.


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