“Viruses evolve quickly. Exceptionally fast. Faster than any organism on this planet – and this new coronavirus is no exception ”, recalls science journalist Megan Scudellari, in the preamble to an article published on November 2 in the American magazine Nautil.us.
Entitled “Why the coronavirus is always one step ahead”, it details the mutation mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2, at the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic that we are experiencing today… And its speed. Megan Scudellari notably takes up this enlightening comparison, brought by the researcher Edward Feil, specialist in the evolution and genomics of populations of pathogens at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, on the site The Conversation :
Since the start of the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has lived (in proportion to the size of its genome) about the same number of changes due to mutations as humans sinceMan of the hand first surveyed the Earth 2.5 million years ago. ”
These mutations are