Scientists have discovered a new gene ‘hidden’ inside the new coronavirus that may have contributed to its unique biological and epidemiological properties.
Research published in the medical journal E-Life suggests that knowing more about a virus that has only 15 genes in total, or discovering the genes hidden inside the genes, could have a significant effect on counteracting it.
Hidden genes could potentially be a tool to help coronaviruses effectively replicate, eliminate host immunity, or go through evolutionary stages of transmission, the study said.
Researchers say that knowing the presence and function of such genes could lead to new ways to control the coronavirus.
The research team named the new gene ORF 3D, which was previously discovered in the penguin coronavirus.
This gene can inhibit strong antibody reactions in patients with code 19 while it has also been shown that the protein of this new gene is formed during human infection.
“We do not yet know the function or significance of this gene, but we can predict that this gene cannot be captured during the T cells reaction,” the researchers said.
Genes are usually like a written language made up of a series of words that provide information.
But such hidden genes have a variety of functions and are difficult to see, most scientific computer programs are not designed to detect them.
However, such genes are common in viruses, especially RNA viruses with higher mutation rates, which keep their genes low in order to prevent a large number of mutations.
As a result, viruses develop a data-suppressing system that causes various hidden genes.
The researchers said that ignoring such hidden genes could overlook important aspects of viral biology, as far as the size of the genome is concerned, the new coronavirus and its relatives are the longest RNA viruses. ۔
During the study, the researchers developed a computer program aimed at screening for mutations in such hidden genes.
Researchers hope that other scientists will be able to work on the gene they discovered and determine its function and role.