Seeing the recent spurt in viruses, scientists have only one option at present. They have gone back to study, what happened 25,000 years back. Genome adaptations may be the key to unearth the causes. The East Asian ancestors probably faced a virus that was similar to the Coronavirus. Unearthing the ancient viral activity is the key to uncover the potential of evolutionary genomic measures. It can help the world combat the current as well as any future pandemic.
Ancient RNA Virus Epidemics Occurred Frequently During Human Evolution
Researchers from the University of Arizona in Tucson and the University of Adelaide in South Australia, have formed a team to study these genomic aspects. It can help one and all, to find out a connection between ancient RNA Virus activities and the current one. They think, that understanding the causes and effects of the past pandemic, can have huge results on the current findings and prevention mechanisms.
Recently, several findings from the study were published in June in the journal, Current Biology. The authors are conducting evolutionary analyses of the Coronavirus and other related viruses on the human genomic sequence.
VIPs And RNA Viruses
If one goes back to history, positive natural selection has most often targeted VIP or Virus-interacting proteins. These do either of the two things. The VIPs either build immunity or get hijacked or destroyed by the viruses. The natural selection process has been on for the past 50,000 years. It revolved around VIPs that reacted with RNA viruses. These are Coronaviruses.
The evidence collected suggests that ancient RNA virus epidemics have also occurred in the past. However, more reports are awaited on the evolutionary capabilities of human genes.
In fact, adaptations of all kinds are underway. 1000 Genomes Project, has data about many human genomes. The close investigations of the genomic sweep across human populations are under study today. The data was investigated across 26 populations. The VIPs are harnessed by the viruses to take over the human body cells. Moreover, these VIPs have more influence over other proteins in the body.
Sweep Signals Across 900 Generations
The scientists conducting the studies have found a pattern of anti-viral modifications in the sweep signals of CoV-VIPs in five east Asian populations. This association did not occur in other populations. The mutations in genes took place in the East Asian population to a huge extent.
Moreover, the data shows that a similar epidemic had affected the ancestral population. Thus, the CoV-VIP proteins show antiviral effects and variations that affect SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 severity. The British population has been largely affected due to the pandemic for the very same reason.
However, studies and adaptations like these, have not yet confirmed the effects on some parts of the globe more than the others. According to the researchers, a lot of data is hidden inside the minds of the genome generator.
Getting Evolutionary Information – The Way To Harness Covid-19
Currently, at least 11 drugs are under trial. They target four out of the 42 CoV-VIP genes that the team analyzed. The researchers also believe that this kind of information can help to generate more information. It will also lead to medical interventions. This way, the world can gather some evidence, as to how to save the race from the Coronavirus. The researchers also noted, that while building genetic protection through the age-old mechanism, might increase the death rate amongst the East Asian populations.
There are some limitations of the study. Ancient DNA samples might substantiate the findings. However, they are yet to be legalized. Population genomics may or may not be the key to unearth the possibilities to tackle the disease today.