Huge potential in studying the tiny

A diagnostic test that can quickly and accurately detect the presence of the virus in a patient is crucial, so that he can be quarantined and treated before the disease spreads.
A diagnostic test that can quickly and accurately detect the presence of the virus in a patient is crucial, so that he can be quarantined and treated before the disease spreads.PHOTO: UNSPLASH

Scientists are working to understand the genome of the coronavirus which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. This is important as it could yield multiple insights into how the outbreak can be better controlled.

Without a host, viruses are just genetic material encased in a protein shell. They cannot reproduce without infecting a mammalian host cell, said cell biologist Ong Siew Hwa, director and chief scientist at Acumen Research Laboratories.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2020, with the headline 'Huge potential in studying the tiny'. Print Edition | Subscribe