New sequencing studies shed more light on the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant

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Two new studies have shed light on the B.1.1.7 variant, suggesting that while it is more transmissible, it does not increase severity.

The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in the UK in December 2020, and is now one of three well-known variants – including P.1 (first identified in Brazil) and B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa) – that have triggered a wave of efforts to examine their impact on epidemiology and the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics.

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