Recently, a new strain has appeared – “omicron”. There is not much information about it yet, but the author of the article, Derek Lowe, PhD in organic chemistry, a specialist in the development of pharmaceuticals, a columnist for the journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry of Chemistry World, told about all the available data.
So, how is the new strain different from the rest? First of all, a large number of mutations, which, moreover, are unevenly distributed. Particularly surprising is the number of changes in the S-protein: for example, the insertion of three amino acids at position 214 has never occurred before. Some of the mutations are useful because they can detect the virus early. At the same time, the test is able to identify two target genes, but not the third, which is modified in the omicron.
The author says the following about the origin of the strain. Omicron actually has nothing to do with other popular covid variants. Most likely, this variant of the coronavirus originated in the body of one person with a weakened immune system, and within a few weeks or months. Another version is that the virus was transmitted from person to animal, and then from him back to person.