Why is the COVID-19 virus deadly, while many other coronaviruses just cause colds? A team of researchers propose an answer — the COVID-19 virus acts as a microRNA “sponge.” This action modulates host microRNA levels in ways that aid viral replication and stymies the host immune response. This testable hypothesis results from analysis of current literature and a bioinformatic study of the COVID-19 virus and six other coronaviruses.
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