Published on 01 Feb 2022

Research highlight: Evolution of viral pathogens follows a linear order

A study by MAE Associate Professor Shu Jian-jun and researchers Tan Zi Hian, Yong Kian Yan shows that genetic mutations are not random, but linear in quantum order, upending a century-old theory of biological evolution.

Random mutation, like an axiom in biology, has been an essential part of evolutionary theory by natural selection since the 1930s.  Now, this classic view is strongly challenged by our new study.  Our study reports a comparative analysis of amino acid usage in several key virus genera susceptible to outbreaks, including coronaviruses, influenza, flaviviruses, and Ebola.  Interestingly, there is evidence that amino acid usage in the viral genome is not random, but in a linear quantum order.

The study is published in Microbiology Spectrum.