Cats, rabbits, and hedgehogs are all involved in new research aimed at predicting which animals are most likely to launch the next deadly animal. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears Outbreak.
Biologists, with the help of artificial intelligence, design predictive models that can prioritize potential hosts of viral strains that are known to already exist but have not yet reached humans. Is done.
“I want to know where the next coronavirus comes from,” said Dr. Marcus Bragrove, a virologist at the University of Liverpool who worked on the study. Reported by the BBC..
Their findings, published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, explain how artificial intelligence can be used to predict the animal host of a previously unpredictable new coronavirus strain.
Finding out which of the 876 potential mammalian species might host one of the possible 411 strains (but often dozens) was an easy part. The secret was to analyze species that could carry two strains at a time and create a breeding ground for powerful mutant viruses.
“One Way [viruses are] It was produced by recombination between two existing coronaviruses. The two viruses infect the same cell and rebind into a completely new strain of the “daughter” virus. “
Animals such as civets, hedgehogs, rabbits, dromedaries, some primate species, domesticated pigs and cats, with SARS-CoV2 (the strain that caused COVID-19) and perhaps dozens of other coronaviruses. Was selected as the main suspect in the reunion of the virus. These creatures join the list of regular suspects, including bats and scales.
According to, recombination has already been observed in some of these species Previous research Quoted in a new report. However, according to Principal Investigator Dr. Maya Warde, to identify new sources of undiscovered “daughter” strains, the algorithm is based on biological similarities between known hosts and their associated species. The evaluation was made based on.
“I was able to predict which species could be infected with many coronaviruses,” she explained. “Because both are very closely related. [to a species known to carry a coronavirus] Or because they share the same geographical space. “
These discoveries are how the wild meets the human world, as scientists point out that the “spillover” of the virus from animals to humans is primarily the result of reckless human activity. And hope to help facilitate more thorough monitoring of the location.
“This is not the reason for demonizing these species,” said Dr. Wardeh.
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