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Laboratory-based coronavirus research

An international consortium has created an openly available SARS-CoV-2 lab research toolkit.

This coronavirus research toolkit is aimed at increasing the availability and accessibility of a variety of research materials, particularly for researchers who may be unaccustomed to coronavirus research.

One important component of the toolkit is the “single plasmid reverse genetics” system, which allows researchers to make synthetic infectious coronaviruses using a specially constructed DNA plasmid that can be grown in bacteria and then used to make viruses in cultured mammalian cells. 

This genetic tool will allow researchers to easily manipulate the coronavirus genome and will allow the study of individual SARS-CoV-2 mutations, or combinations of mutations, such as those found in the new variants of concern.

Following validation of the toolkit materials, all cell lines and virus strains have been deposited at the UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control and all antibodies, proteins, cDNAs, cell lines and reverse genetics constructs are available online.

Image credit | Pixabay

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