Edward Feil

Mutation unknown: Covid’s mysterious evolution

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 in yellow isolated from a patient in the US (Photo: NIAID)

Common wisdom states that a new pathogen, once introduced into a vulnerable human population with no immune defences, will evolve over time to grow more benign and live in amity with its host. After all, the argument goes, a pathogen will depend on its host for its own survival, so causing mass disease and death will make onward transmission more difficult and ultimately only ensure its own demise.

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Written by
Edward Feil
Edward Feil is a professor of biology and biochemistry at the University of Bath and works at the Milner Centre for Evolution.

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