[In two studies] scientists provide comforting news about a new strain of the COVID-19 virus that emerged from the U.K. last December. It has since become the dominant virus in the region, accounting for nearly all of the new COVID-19 cases there—and has recently been implicated in spikes in parts of the U.S., as well as other parts of the world. The researchers report that the so-called B.1.1.7 variant of the virus is not linked to more severe disease or death, and that the virus isn’t causing different (or higher numbers of) symptoms among those infected compared to previous strains of SARS-CoV-2. But they also stress that their findings aren’t the final word on the impact of the variant.