September 6, 2016
(The Wall Street Journal) – Viruses are packaged strands of genetic material that, once inside cells, get copied over and over. With each replication, the virus can change slightly. Most of the time these changes are benign, but sometimes they can help it infect its hosts more easily or cause new types of health problems. Several studies suggest Zika’s genome—its repertoire of genes—is relatively stable, but there is some early evidence that certain genes may be changing—in some cases in ways that could, in theory, help it to replicate more efficiently once inside human cells, prompting researchers to seek more data.
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