Our Members contribute to RNA coronaviruses research
The scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving. Every day, scientists are making discoveries based on years of investment in training and expertise that resulted in the accumulation of large, shared, high quality data sets now ready to be used in the fight against the virus. Together, researchers have established lasting scientific collaborations and built robust state of the art research infrastructures that are now strongly positioned to tackle emergent questions related to the treatment and spread of disease during this COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
As soon as COVID-19 information was released, RNA biologist and child neurologist Dr. Vivian Cheung looked at what was known about this new RNA virus.
“What I saw was amazingly surprising: the RNA of the virus encodes a familiar protein, the one that I’ve studied for years in a very rare neurodegenerative disease. Here it was, in the RNA of the COVID-19 virus!”
For decades Dr. Cheung has studied a very rare disease, similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) but that manifests itself early in teenage years and evolves very slowly. Named ALS4, this rare disease is caused by a mutation in a gene called senataxin, which is an RNA helicase that relaxes the RNA shape. Read more
Drawing by Colleen McGarry: RNA in the clover loop form