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22 Feb 2021

Setting it Straight: Virus and vaccine - Part 3

As discussed over the past couple of months, SARS-CoV-2 invades via the nose and infects epithelial cells in our upper respiratory tract. There it multiplies and turns otherwise dysfunctional cells into virus-producing ‘factories’. New progeny virions released into the bathing mucus layer infect more cells in us, or in others exposed to virus in the microdroplets that we push out into the air. That little 30,000 bases of ‘bad news’ viral RNA may, if our genetics determines that we become superspreaders, transform us from being innocuous, responsible citizens to – using FBI terminology - ‘public enemy Number One’.

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