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Articles on SARS-CoV-2

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In February 2021, a World Health Organization team investigating the origins of COVID-19 visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China. Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Why gain-of-function research matters

The research community is taking a closer look at the lab-leak hypothesis for the origin of COVID-19, prompting discussion about the risks and benefits of engineering viruses.
A security guard leads reporters away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a WHO team arrived for a field visit in Wuhan, Hubei province of China, Feb. 3, 2021. The team came to no conclusions about the origins of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Origins of SARS-CoV-2: Why the lab-leak idea is being considered again

Gain-of-function studies make a natural virus more dangerous or transmissible to humans. Could the Wuhan Institute of Virology be the source of SARS-CoV-2?
To stop the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, it’s important to understand the evolutionary imperative that viruses have to spread their genetic material. Dazeley/Getty Images

Think like a virus to understand why the pandemic isn’t over yet – and what the US needs to do to help other countries

Viruses want to pass on their genetic material. Recognizing this about SARS-CoV-2 provides insight into how the world is still vulnerable to COVID-19.

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