Monday, March 22, 2021

Caveman Have the Advantage Against COVID-19


COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc in the lives of everyone across the world. A big question has been how some people can be asymptomatic or have minor symptoms while others are dying from the same virus. Recent discoveries can prove to have these answers in our ancestor’s DNA. Scientists studying Neandertals have found that chromosome 12 may be the answer. The haplotype, known as a cluster of genetic variants, that are inherited together, has seen to affect the risk of having an intervention with intensive care. In the research presented by Hugo Zeberg and Svante PaaBo, It was discovered to have a 22% decrease in becoming super sick when infected by COVID-19. Infections due to RNA viruses, in this region, encodes for proteins that activate enzymes on chromosome 12 to deal with such viruses. This chromosome helps protects from severe diseases.

In contrast, it also has been seen that chromosome 3 had the opposite effect. It carries having a higher risk for diseases, especially the SARS-CoV-2. Trends have shown an increase in the Neandertal haplotype increasing in the past 20,000 years as well as the past 1,000 years. If the haplotype on chromosome 3 is present, there is almost double the risk of becoming seriously infected with COVID-19. It has been seen that 65% of the Southern Asian population carries the haplotype and 16% in Europe of chromosome 3.

Chromosome 12 haplotype is effective in destroying the COVID-19 because it destroys the viral RNA by having the variants affect the function of genes that result in a biochemical chain reaction. Unfortunately, not many people in Africa carry the genes retrieved from the Neanderthals, but they can be subsequently traced to all parts of the world other than in Africa primarily.  It would be noteworthy to see the trends in how many people needed medical intervention when battling this disease. Just seeing it in everyday life is a possibility because the U.S. has had so many cases of people dying. Other than the fact that we have dense populations in cities, but also because in these cities we have a melting pot of people with different genetics, as well as all over the United States. 

When reading over this study I found it quite interesting to have a link to a burning question I have had, since this all started. Back when COVID-19 lockdown just started my mom had it very bad. We also know a ton of people that have not had many symptoms. This could be the answer as to why my mom had it so horribly. In her case, the bigger question is did she get it so badly to due prior hindering medical conditions or is it genetics.

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