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JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus mutating. This virus is the cause of the disease Covid-19. The virus has spike proteins (red) on its surface, which it uses to attach to and enter host cells. Current Covid-19 vaccines use the spike protein to trigger an immune response. Mutations in the viral RNA (yellow glow) can change the composition of the spike proteins, and the different amino acids are seen appearing as bright flashes in the spikes. The virus mutates constantly, and some changes alter the spike protein enough to render Covid-19 vaccines less effective.
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