BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — Chinese researchers have published a series of academic papers on their early findings of the novel coronavirus that has claimed over 50 lives and infected nearly 2,000 people nationwide in China.
A paper published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine showed the electron micrographs of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
The virus particles were generally spherical, with some pleomorphism. Their diameters varied from about 60 to 140 nanometers. They had quite distinctive spikes, about 9 to 12 nanometers, which gave them the appearance of a solar corona, according to the paper.
The genome sequencing showed that the 2019-nCoV was more than 85 percent identical with a SARS-like CoV derived from bats, said the paper, with Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as one of its authors.
An earlier paper published online by SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences said the 2019-nCoV was about 70 percent similar to the SARS-CoV.
However, both studies confirmed that the 2019-nCoV was distinct from the SARS-CoV. They belonged to different branches in lineage B of the sarbecovirus subgenus of the Coronaviridae family.
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