Canadian research team isolates novel coronavirus behind COVID-19

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.

Thanks to nimble collaboration, the team was able to culture the virus from two clinical specimens in a Level 3 containment facility,” said a news release by Sunnybrook on Thursday.

Isolating the virus, which has caused (as of March 12) more than 125,000 infections around the world since it first appeared in China’s Hubei province in December 2019, can help scientists in Canada and around the world to “develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, and vaccines,” and also understand it a bit better in terms of its biology and evolution, according to Sunnybrook.

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