“After the virus enters a human cell, our ribosomes attach to its RNA strands and glide down them like a roller coaster car running along a track. As the ribosomes pass over the genetic letters, they build proteins with corresponding structures. Scientists suspect that the loops of RNA may throw the roller coaster car off its track and then guide it to a spot thousands of positions away. Other loops force the ribosome to back up a bit and then move forward again. This little hiccup can cause the virus to make entirely different proteins from the same stretch of RNA.”

— Carl Zimmer, “The Coronavirus Unveiled