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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - A specific mutation of the novel coronavirus may considerably increase its ability to infect cells, according to a study by researchers in the United States.

Research may explain why outbreaks in some locations have not overburdened health systems as much as the outbreaks in New York and Italy, according to experts at Scripps Research.

The mutation, dubbed D614G, has increased the number of "spikes" in the coronavirus, part of what gives it its unique form. These spikes allow the virus to bind to the cells and infect them.

"The number - or density - of functional spikes in . . .

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