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article imageCanadian scientists have successfully isolated the COVID-19 virus

By Karen Graham     Mar 13, 2020 in Science
Toronto - Researchers from Sunnybrook Research Institute and two Ontario universities have managed to isolate and grow copies of the new coronavirus that has caused the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic.
Canadian researchers from Sunnybrook Research Institute, McMaster University and the University of Toronto, have successfully isolated and then cultivated the COVID-19 virus in a secure containment facility, according to CTV News Canada.
In a statement, the team said the lab-grown samples would help scientists in Canada and across the world develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, and vaccines, to fight the coronavirus.
Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, an NSERC post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University, said he knows the collaboration won’t stop there, reports Global News. “Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork,” he said. “The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”
The researchers used virus samples taken from two Canadian patients infected with the novel coronavirus. Scientists were then able to replicate the virus in a level three containment facility at the University of Toronto in a matter of weeks.
Also in the news - Quebec-based biotech Medicago says it has taken the first step towards a vaccine by producing a virus-like particle of the novel coronavirus, which will now undergo testing for safety and efficacy.
Other countries have also isolated the virus, including China, as well as research teams in Australia and Italy, reports the UK's Independent.
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