Coronavirus Variants – What They Mean

A very good speaker you can understand with practical examples. Includes timed topics so you can find what you want to learn more about. 2-8-21 Video 36 minutes.

2021 has brought news of emerging SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants that increase transmissibility. Will they diminish vaccine efficacy and lead us to lose pandemic control? University of Michigan’s Adam Lauring, MD, Ph.D., a molecular virologist who uses evolutionary theory to study viral transmission and pathogenesis, joins JAMA’s Q&A series to explain the variants and what they mean for public health. Recorded February 4, 2021.

Related article Genetic Variants of SARS-CoV-2—What Do They Mean? Technical but understandable. Many details. Co-written by Dr. Lauring

Timed topics discussed in this interview:

  • 0:00​ Introduction
  • 1:12​ What are RNA viruses?
  • 2:50​ Is emergence of variants a surprise?
  • 3:33​ What is a variant?
  • 4:48​ Why labs identify variants
  • 6:18​ Sequence and epidemiological data
  • 8:12​ Virus evolution
  • 10:13​ Testing for vaccine effectiveness against variants
  • 13:26​ What blood serum testing misses
  • 14:41​ Will COVID-19 continue for extended time
  • 16:54​ Vaccine targets
  • 18:22​ Universal flu vaccine
  • 19:36​ Children’s vulnerability to new variants
  • 21:16​ Viral shedding and variants
  • 21:59​ Surveillance systems and central repositories
  • 23:17​ Have variants reached the US
  • 25:03​ Capacity to test for variants
  • 26:37​ Different vaccine approaches and variants
  • 28:08​ Live attenuated virus vaccines
  • 29:10​ Modeling escape mutations
  • 30:22​ Coronavirus birthday cake 31:49​ Speed of vaccine development

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