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SARS virus is remade in lab to help design better vaccines and drugs

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US scientists have synthetically reconstructed the coronavirus variant that caused the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2003 in order to design better vaccines and drugs.

SARS, believed to have originated in bats, first emerged in humans in Asia in late 2002. The illness then spread to more than two dozen countries – infecting 8,000 people and killing at least 774 – before the outbreak was contained.

‘By reconstructing the synthetic bat SARS virus, we have a model that will allow us to design better vaccines and drugs that will treat any strain of this virus that infects humans,’ said the researchers online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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