Army researchers at Fort Detrick who helped discover Ebola treatment seek coronavirus vaccine

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  1. kevinsmith2020

    kevinsmith2020 Member

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    Army researchers at Fort Detrick are fast at work growing batches of COVID-19 to help test treatment options and eventually find a coronavirus vaccine."They take some of the virus and put it onto cells," Dr. Kathleen Gibson, a core laboratory services division chief at the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], explained through a triple-glass window as Army researchers wearing protective gear worked with the deadly virus. "They look for the virus that will actually kill portions of the cells and they'll count those killed portions."These are the same army scientists who helped develop vaccines for anthrax, the plague and Ebola. Now, they have been working double shifts growing large amounts of the COVID-19 virus at this sprawling lab complex."We have more capacity to run more studies at the same time," Col. E. Darrin Cox, the commander of USAMRIID, explained. "We can be running things in parallel rather than having to do things sequentially, and that's helped speed up the process of the science."Fort Detrick has one of the country's few labs with biosafety level 4-specialized equipment, allowing researchers to work on the most deadly viruses.It's taken two weeks to grow a lot of COVID-19. Fort Detrick received its first vial of the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] a month ago. Its scientists have started the genetic sequencing of the virus, using machines capable of fast, large-scale drug testing as well."We have a large capacity to be able to test a very large number of products. Most other places don't have that infrastructure to be able to develop or test as many products at a time," according to Dr. John Dye, the USAMRIID viral immunology chief. "There are at least eight different companies that are developing vaccines that all can be assessed looking for safety in humans... Having multiple shots on goal is our best chance of being able to basically battle this virus."
     

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