Making the pieces fit: How WVU, Marshall and the state of West Virginia detect new COVID-19 variants

Picture viral RNA as a single component that you can break into one million pieces. Now imagine reassembling those pieces together, literally like a jigsaw puzzle. If there’s a chipped corner or if a piece won’t fit snugly as it should, consider that a virus mutation or variant. That’s genomic sequencing, in a nutshell, when it comes to identifying variants of COVID-19, according to Peter Stoilov, associate professor of biochemistry at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

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Split Ends: New studies show how DNA crossovers can drive healthy, abnormal sperm, egg cell division

Human genetic diversity wouldn’t be possible without DNA crossovers in egg and sperm cells. Two Harvard Medical School studies provide new insights into how crossovers go right–and wrong, leading to infertility, miscarriages and birth defects.

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Discovery reveals antibiotic-resistant strep throat may be too close for comfort

Infectious disease scientists identified strains of group A streptococcus that are less susceptible to commonly used antibiotics, a sign that the germ causing strep throat and flesh-eating disease may be moving closer to resistance to penicillin and other related antibiotics known as beta-lactams.

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