Here's a ray of hope, a touch of good news... ... Scientists find new mutation of coronavirus that mirrors a change in the 2003 SARS virus that showed the disease was weakening Scientists have discovered a unique mutation to coronavirus in Arizona - and it's a pattern that they've seen before. One of the 382 samples they collected from coronavirus patients in the state was missing a sizeable segment of genetic material. In the middle and late stages of the SARS epidemic of 2003, this very same kind of deletion started cropping up in patients around the globe. It's not just any mutation - the change robs the closely related viruses of one of their weapons against the host's immune response, making the infection weaker. As that mutation became widespread, the SARS outbreak wound down. By July - five months after it emerged in Asia in February 23 - there were no new cases, and the outbreak was considered contained. Now, the Arizona State University researchers have only found one person who had a version of the virus with this mutation - but they say if genome sequencing for coronavirus become more common, we may find far more. Some viruses mutate nearly constantly, making them more difficult for us to keep up with, prevent and treat. HIV is among the most prolific mutators known to man. It replicates itself rapidly as well, making billions of copies of itself in a single day. These traits combined make it exceptionally hard to control and allow the virus to become resistant to drugs. From what we know of it so far, the virus causing the current pandemic - SARS-CoV-2 - is far more reliable than something like HIV. That's both good and bad. On one hand, the less a virus mutates, the better our odds of making a vaccine that can effectively block it are. But until we have a vaccine - a wait period for which estimates vary wildly, with some experts saying we could have one by January, others predicting making one will take a year or two, and a few, fringe speculators putting its arrival date a far out as 2036 - the stable coronavirus will continue to reliably infect millions and kill hundreds of thousands. (more on the link) .