Portrait of a Probable Killer

March 27, 2003 | Source: Nature Science Update

“If scientists’ hunch proves correct, the mystery ‘killer flu’ that has killed more than 50 people in Asia and beyond is an infection like none seen before…. Suspicions are growing that the culprit is an unassuming virus called a coronavirus.”

“Coronaviruses are prone to transformation. They have an unusually large amount of genetic material, as well as enzymes that enable them to shuffle it. A new, more virulent mutant could easily result.”