Sumary of COVID: did a delayed second dose give the delta variant an evolutionary helping hand?:
- Some experts warn that the delta variant may be 100% more transmissible than the previously dominant variant, alpha..
- Successful variants often have a biological advantage – through mutation – that helps them spread more easily among the population..
- And it the variants with these mutations that natural selection acts on, ensuring they out-compete other, less transmissible strains..
- The delta variant may, however, have a more complicated relationship with people than those that came before it..
- It is even possible that it was government policies, rather than the variant inherent increased transmissibility, that led to its success and dominance in the UK..
- The first, natural selection, occurs when one type of organism out-competes another — either within or between species — leading, over time, to the success of one and the demise of the other..
- A third, less well–known force called unconscious selection, is where human interactions with the environment have accidental evolutionary effects..
- This further subset of natural selection is an important force across the world and is becoming increasingly important as populations grow and people change the global environment….