The scientist at the heart of fight against new COVID-19 variant
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 laboratorySandile Cele, Medical student - University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine
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