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  • The science behind SARS

Three weeks ago, studies exposed a new type of 'coronavirus' as the most likely culprit behind SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Until then, coronaviruses were something of a backwater in the field of virology. But the ongoing epidemic of SARS is shining an intense spotlight on this group of respiratory viruses, with hordes of government, academic and corporate scientists now rushing to characterise the virus further and test possible drugs and vaccines.

In this feature article, Martin Enserink gets to grips with the science behind the SARS virus — the genome of which was deciphered last weekend — and its implications for developing a vaccine against this deadly pathogen.

Link to Science article

Reference: Science 300, 413 (2003)
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