MSI PI Fang Li (associate professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) led a team that has published a study in the journal Nature that shows how mutations in the structure of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, allow it to attach more securely to human cells than the SARS coronavirus that appeared in 2002-03. The mutations allow the novel coronavirus to spread more quickly between humans. The study also provides some insights into the coronavirus’s animal origins.
Stories about this research appear on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog: U of M Researchers Find Key - and Vulnerable - Features of Novel Coronavirus, and on the website of the College of Veterinary Medicine: UMN Researchers Advance on Tackling the Novel Coronavirus.
The paper can be found on the journal website: Structural Basis of Receptor Recognition by SARS-CoV-2.