New tools and technologies let us peer into worlds that would have been impossible to see even a few decades ago. During the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have been able to decode the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ genome in under 48 hours, get a view of its microscopic structure with unprecedented detail, and forecast its spread with the help of mathematical modeling.
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We can now speedily analyze viral DNA or RNA with genomic sequencing and get a look at a virus’ structure using electron microscopes and x-ray crystallography. These tools and technologies help researchers develop defenses, including vaccines and antiviral drugs. On a community scale, mathematical modeling is helping public health professionals understand things like how diseases might spread and how viral strains are evolving.
For more about the science of viruses and vaccines, visit the American Museum of Natural History’s COVID-19 resource hub: https://www.amnh.org/explore/viruses-vaccines-pandemic-science
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Created with the support of the City of New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. © 2022 City of New York.
Generous support for the COVID-19 Resource Hub and its related teacher professional development programs has been provided by the Irma and Paul Milstein Family.