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Study: Few ‘important’ genetic changes seen in COVID-19 since hop to humans

Study: Few ‘important’ genetic changes seen in COVID-19 since hop to humans

Health
March 12 (UPI) -- The genetic makeup of the coronavirus underwent few "important" changes during the first 11 months of the pandemic, despite the emergence of potentially dangerous new strains last fall, according to a study published Friday by PLOS Biology. After analyzing hundreds of thousands of sequenced virus genomes, researchers from the United States, Britain and Belgium documented little significant alteration in the virus' genetic structure since it jumped to humans. Advertisement This was the case until late in 2020 -- after nearly a year of the virus circulating widely among people in nearly every nation on Earth -- when new variants began to emerge as a result of limited immunity in people who'd already had the virus. The vaccines developed to fight off the virus should contin...
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says it is ‘vitally important’ children return to class

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says it is ‘vitally important’ children return to class

Health
It is "vitally important" children go back to school, with the life chances of a generation at stake, Boris Johnson has said in a message to parents.As the autumn term begins in Northern Ireland, the prime minister said the risk of contracting coronavirus at schools across the UK was "very small".He said "it is far more damaging for a child's development and their health... to be away from school any longer".Mr Johnson's words echoed those of the UK's four chief medical officers.They have all signed a joint statement alongside deputy chief medical officers to reassure parents schools could mitigate risks during the pandemic.In Scotland, schools have already reopened. Some pupils in Northern Ireland are returning to school on Monday, while term starts in E...
Leaked WHO files show China ‘delayed releasing important information’ about virus

Leaked WHO files show China ‘delayed releasing important information’ about virus

World
China delayed releasing important coronavirus information during the early days of the outbreak, according to leaked WHO documents and recordings of WHO meetings obtained by the Associated Press (AP).The delay led to frustration for officials in the World Health Organisation (WHO), even as they publicly praised China for its transparency. The country waited more than one week before publishing the genome of the novel coronavirus on 11 January, despite the fact three different government labs had fully sequenced the genetic code. Image: The outbreak began in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province. File pic "Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of inte...
‘Winning the Premier League is more important than being Invincible’ – Arsenal legend Ray Parlour’s message to gutted Liverpool fans

‘Winning the Premier League is more important than being Invincible’ – Arsenal legend Ray Parlour’s message to gutted Liverpool fans

Sports
Arsenal Invincible Ray Parlour has offered some words of comfort for any Liverpool fans left gutted by their defeat to Watford – ‘Going unbeaten doesn’t matter’. And one Reds supporter told talkSPORT he wasn’t that fussed about the match anyway, and even said he is GLAD they lost against the Hornets. Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered their first Premier League loss of the season on Saturday, as they were well and truly beaten 3-0 at Vicarage Road. AFP or licensors Liverpool suffered a rare blip against Watford on Saturday The surprise result ended fans’ hopes of becoming the latest ‘Invincibles’ team and even eclipsing the Gunners’ achievement when they were crowned champions with 26 wins and 12 draws in 2003/04. Liverpool already have 26 wins, so had the...
Mastercard CEO says it’s important to know when it’s time to step aside

Mastercard CEO says it’s important to know when it’s time to step aside

Finance
Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga told CNBC Tuesday that he has led the company for more than a decade and that it is time to pass the baton.He will transition out of the roles next year, ceding the chief executive seat on Jan. 1 and the president title months later to current Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach."When I joined I told everybody that I'd give it a 10-year crack. This is the 11th year and so it's fine," said Banga, joined by Miebach, in a "Mad Money" interview with Jim Cramer. "Knowing when to step aside is as important as knowing when to drive."Banga endorsed the incoming CEO for his understanding of the payments industry, geographies and the company culture. Under Banga's tutelage since the summer of 2010, Mastercard stock rose from about $ 20 per share to $ 302.89 ...