At Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), microbiologists, virologists, and other scientists have dropped their routine research projects to focus on the critical search for vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world. NEIDL’s extraordinary biocontainment capabilities allow researchers to work safely with live samples of the novel coronavirus, which one NEIDL scientist is currently pitting against more than 20,000 small-molecule drugs in an effort to discover the most potent defense against the virus. Other researchers are seeking to discover which cell proteins are cleaved by the virus as it hijacks a cell, and others are modifying the virus, dialing down its potency to enable safer versions of it to be used by researchers in less secure laboratories, and using nanotechnology to lure the virus away from a host. At NEIDL, the race is on, and it’s the race that NEIDL was built for.

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