Focus: Science and Technology
Why in news?
- Senior scientists at Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), have said the virus dubbed SARS-CoV-2 is mutating, after analysing the 115 published genome sequences from the current COVID-19 outbreak.
- Some of these ‘errors’ in the virus known as ‘mutations’ may be significant for the development and evaluation of new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines
- A Mutation occurs when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene.
- A Mutagen is an agent of substance that can bring about a permanent alteration to the physical composition of a DNA gene such that the genetic message is changed.