Undergrads creating antiviral treatment for COVID-19

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 12:11 in Biology & Nature

Six months into the global pandemic, there is still no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. A team of Harvard undergraduates is working to change that. Members of Harvard’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team are using computational biology to develop a therapy that enables the body to quickly develop COVID-19 antibodies and jump-start the immune system’s battle against the disease. “Our goal is to make a viral therapeutic that is easily accessible to people across a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and is also quick to produce,” said Frank D’Agostino ’23, an applied math concentrator. “As we’ve seen, with lockdowns there aren’t easy ways to get into labs. So to be able to do things computationally is crucial because it reduces the amount of time you have to spend in the lab.” Using computational tools, and collaborating via Zoom and Slack, the students are designing a DNA origami structure to deliver a COVID-19...

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