Canadian researchers have recently unveiled the molecular images of B.1.1.7 Covid-19 mutation which was first detected in UK and is now spreading across Canada and India. The pictures were reportedly taken at near-atomic resolution and it provides critical insight as to why this particular variant is more infectious.
The researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) stated that the images also add to the growing body of data which indicates that the existing vaccines are likely to remain effective in preventing mild and severe cases caused by the B.1.1.7 mutant.
The research team was led by a UBC professor from the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, namely, Dr. Sriram Subramaniam. The researchers found a “particular interest” a mutation known as N501Y located on the spike protein of the virus, which is what it uses to attach itself to human cells that it infects.
“Our analysis revealed that even though the N501Y mutant can enter the body cells more readily, it can still be neutralised by antibodies,” a researcher said.