A coronavirus strain isolated in India carried a mutation that could upend vaccine development around the globe, according to researchers from Australia and Taiwan. The non-peer reviewed study said the change had occurred in part of the spike protein that allows the virus to bind with certain human cells. This structure targets cells containing ACE2, an enzyme found in the lungs which also allowed the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) virus to infect people. Scientists know more about this receptor than any other so had been working on antibodies that target it, but an unexpected structural change could render them useless.

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