She and Zhan posted a new preprint on bioRxiv dismantling the pangolin papers. Broad Institute partners with City of Cambridge to pilot COVID-19 surveillance in nursing facilities.

Then it hit her: The world’s greatest puzzle was staring her in the face. Future studies will be necessary to understand how these mechanisms may influence SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. It hadn’t been anything like this. Far from being ubiquitous, the virus had been found only in a few pangolins who were held together, and it was unclear where they had caught it. The team worked double shifts throughout that weekend and completed the new testing space on March 18, ahead of their already tight schedule. Genome-wide CRISPR screen reveals host genes that regulate SARS-CoV-2 infection (preprint). Update, May 1, 2020: The authors have made all of the necessary data and code publicly available. “Scientists shouldn’t be censoring themselves,” she says. Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealthCarey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section. As Chan read the pangolin papers, she grew suspicious. “It is very difficult to do research when one hypothesis has been negatively cast as a conspiracy theory,” she wrote. The NIH had recently cut its grant to his organization, EcoHealth Alliance, after the Trump administration learned that some of it had gone to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s work. “I remember the first time I learned about HIV. The COVID-19 testing center at the Broad is providing testing, training, and supplies to health agencies in eight hard-hit communities in the state. On March 9, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard core member Deborah Hung spoke urgently with her colleague at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Michael Mina, the associate medical director of the clinical microbiology laboratory and director of molecular virology diagnostics at the hospital. But it hadn’t. The researchers found increased expression of these genes with age and smoking status, suggesting a possible biological basis for the increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection seen in certain populations. She crunched information at twice our speed, zeroing in on small details we’d overlooked, and became a go-to for anyone looking for spin-free explications of the latest science on COVID-19. That meant it had immediately morphed. It felt good to free her gene-therapy projects from their stasis, and she was even more excited about the new project she and Deverman were working on: an online tool that allows vaccine developers to track changes in the virus’s genome by time, location, and other characteristics. Stuck at home, all she had to work with was her brain and her laptop. Partnering with state officials and local hospitals, they raced to create a solution to help increase the pace and scale of diagnostic testing. “Everyone focused on the one line,” Chan laments.

Given the unfolding health crisis, they knew they had to learn this new protocol, and do so fast. I was used to social media pundits ignoring inconvenient or politically toxic facts, but I’d never expected to see that from some of our best scientists. Under the leadership of Gabriel and Mina, the CRSP scientists adapted the CDC’s testing protocol, which was designed for labs to perform manually at a low throughput, so that it could be run on the facility’s automated liquid-handling machines. “We’ve had heroic contributions from people across the Broad and the CRSP lab.

They found that 30 percent of the peptides are from previously unexplored coding regions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome and are thus not likely captured by current vaccines under development. Charlie Baker to declare a state of emergency. That same sequence can occur naturally in a coronavirus, so this was not irrefutable proof of an unnatural origin, Chan explained, “only an observation.” Still, it was enough for one Twitter user to muse, “If capital punishment were as painful as what Alina Chan is doing to Daszak/WIV regarding their story, it would be illegal.”, Daszak says that indeed he had been misinformed and was unaware that that virus found in the mine shaft had been sequenced before 2020. “She is insightful, determined, and has the rare ability to explain complex scientific findings to other scientists and to the public,” he says.

At the time, the Chinese government and most scientists insisted the jump had happened at Wuhan’s seafood market, but that didn’t make sense to Chan. After it came out, Chan added “scientist-turned-detective” to her Twitter bio. With two boys at home, a toddler and an infant, Cipicchio said she was initially torn about whether she should volunteer to work on this task force because of the long hours. Chan is in her early thirties, still at the start of her career, and an absolute idealist about the purity of the scientific process.



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