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The Clement Manyathela Show
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The Clement Manyathela Show
09:00 - 12:00

The scientist at the heart of fight against new COVID-19 variant

24 March 2021 5:34 PM

University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine student Sandile Cele says South Africa has world-class laboratories.

A Durban medical student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine and aspiring virologist has come up with a creative way of growing the South African COVID-19 variant.

Where the virus is usually grown in cells that were isolated from monkeys, this time Sandile Cele found that the new variant (called 501Y.V2) did not grow in these cells and had to try a different way.

He sheds more light on this.

We started the project around June. We had this variant but didn't know much about it. I first used a human cell line to grow it, and then use these infected cells to infect the monkey cell line.

Sandile Cele, Medical student - University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine

We have world-class laboratories, we get trained to work with such viruses. It is easier to get a virus doing shopping than in a laboratory

Sandile Cele, Medical student - University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine

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24 March 2021 5:34 PM

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