Excursions by Amit Gawande

Coronavirus looks pretty much the same, no strains more deadlier that others - and that is a good news. What that means is it has not been mutating at a rapid pace. In more technical terms, the virus has a proofreading machinery, however, and that reduces the error rate’ and the pace of mutation”. Here’s Benjamin Neuman of Texas A&M University contrasting the coronavirus with influenza, which is notoriously slippery”.

Flu does have one trick up its sleeve that coronaviruses do not have — the flu virus genome is broken up into several segments, each of which codes for a gene. When two flu viruses are in the same cell, they can swap some segments, potentially creating a new combination instantly — this is how the H1N1 swine’ flu originated.