translated from Spanish: 20 thousand years ago a coronavirus pandemic affected Asia

At least 20 thousand years ago the east of the Asian continent was affected by another coronavirus epidemic, finds a new study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. The research was carried out by scientists from Australia and the United States. They found evidence of an outbreak of coronavirus. This outbreak was found after studying the genome of 2,500 people from 26 populations in different parts of the world. 
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Read more: WHO only endorses 6 Vaccines against Covid-19 for emergency useIn these genomic studies, the first traces of interaction of the human genome with the genetic fingerprints of the coronavirus left in the DNA of humans were found. The information in the human genome goes back several thousand years but so far you have the tools to decode it, said Yassine Souilmi, lead author of the study.  Viruses work by making copies of themselves. However, they do not have their own tools for performing duplication. “So they actually depend on a host, and that’s why they invade a host and then hijack their machinery to create copies of themselves,” Souilmi said.

The cells that are hijacked by the virus leave a mark that can be observed and provides clear scientific evidence that the ancestors were exposed to a virus thousands of years ago. These footprints were found on people living in five different populations located in China, Japan and Vietnam. This epidemic may have spread to other populations but there is no concrete data to confirm this. A good portion of the affected people developed a beneficial mutation that helped protect against the virus, those who had the mutation were more likely to survive which means that over time, the population was made up of more people with the mutation than without it. Read more: Covid-19 cases rise in Mexico in three weeksThe study said the coronavirus plague occurred separately between different regions and spread across East Asia as an epidemic.

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Original source in Spanish

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