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Rocky Mountain Laboratories produce image of coronavirus

Posted at 2:48 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 16:48:22-05

The coronavirus has now spread to more than 25 countries outside of China.

Among those who are working diligently to address this epidemic are scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Hamilton.

RML reports that some projects are already underway and others will begin shortly as this is a priority topic for the many researchers who study viruses.

Inside the highly secured campus of Rocky Mountain Labs, research groups are conducting experiments to find a cure for coronavirus.

Research projects include learning how the virus binds to cells so they can develop therapies to prevent the binding and stop infection, learning how stable the virus is in the environment, establishing an animal model to study the virus, and testing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

This week, experts at Rocky Mountain Laboratories produced images of the coronavirus on their scanning and transmission electron microscopes.

RML investigator Emmie de Wit, PH.D., provided the virus samples as part of her studies, microscopist Elizabeth Fischer produced the images, and the RML visual medical arts office digitally colorized the images.

This is considered to be a major step in continuing research on the coronavirus.

RML scientists have also studied a related virus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus which emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. This will help in their research on the Coronavirus we're seeing now.

Rocky Mountain Laboratories is also known for researching HIV, influenza, Ebola, and other emerging infectious diseases.