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Could One Mutation Have Turned Zika Bad?

A single genetic mutation may have turned Zika from a boring and harmless virus into the brain-destroying guided missile that causes microcephaly and other severe birth defects, Chinese researchers said Thursday. Their findings, if they hold up, could help explain why Zika seemed to suddenly appear and tear across South and Central America, causing an epidemic of miscarriages and birth defects. Or it might not. But the intriguing study demonstrates that a single spelling error made as genetic material replicates itself could account for a profoun ...