How South African scientists spotted the Omicron COVID variant

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Reuters

By Tim Cocks JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – On Friday Nov. 19, Raquel Viana, Head of Science at one of South Africa’s biggest private testing labs, sequenced the genes on eight coronavirus samples – and got the shock of her life. The samples, tested in the Lancet laboratory, all bore a large number of mutations, especially on the spike protein that the virus uses to enter human cells. “I was quite shocked at what I was seeing. I questioned whether something had gone wrong in the process,” she told Reuters, a thought that quickly gave way to “a sinking feeling that the samples were going to have huge…

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