In DepthCOVID-19

Found: genes that sway the course of the coronavirus

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Science  16 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6514, pp. 275-276
DOI: 10.1126/science.370.6514.275


It's one of the pandemic's puzzles: Most people infected by the novel coronavirus never feel sick, whereas others develop severe disease or even end up in an intensive care unit clinging to life. Age and preexisting conditions, such as obesity, account for much of the disparity. But geneticists have raced to see whether a person's DNA also explains why some get hit hard by the virus, and they have uncovered some tantalizing leads. Now, a U.K. group studying more than 2200 COVID-19 patients has pinned down several common gene variants that are linked to the most severe cases of the disease, and that point to existing drugs that could be repurposed to help COVID-19 patients.

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