The results are in!

Find out how well everyone did on our RNA quiz.

By Katie Whitney
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In our last issue, we tested your knowledge of RNA and the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. We tried not to make the quiz too easy. After seeing the results, we think we may have tried too hard.

If you failed our quiz, congratulations! You’re in the majority. The average score from the 136 respondents was a whopping 48%.

And if you passed? Well, get out the confetti and throw yourself a party, because you are officially an RNA genius.

The hardest question — “When was RNA discovered?” — garnered a correct answer from just 16% of respondents. The answer is 1868.

Our second most difficult question involved the mutation rate of influenza versus that of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19). Just 18% of respondents said, correctly, that SARS-CoV-2 has a lower mutation rate than influenza. Given how much havoc this strand of RNA has wreaked over the last year, it’s not surprising that many of you believed it to be mutating faster than the flu virus.

But the mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 is actually about half that of influenza, and the biochemical mutation rate is 10-fold lower. We are seeing so many variants in the virus because of the sheer number of infections, which are giving the virus a lot of opportunities to mutate.

Here’s hoping the rest of this year brings fewer COVID-19 variants and, perhaps, some easier quiz questions. Thanks for playing!