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Synthetic Virions to Detect SARS Origins

Synthetic Virions to Detect SARS Origins

Host: Mark Nolan Hill, MD

Guest: Mark Denison, MD

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) made significant headlines in 2003, testing the mettle of our global public health infrastructure. Since then, we have seen robust evidence to suggest that bats were the original animal host for the virus, with the latest data coming from a synthetic SARS-like bat coronavirus. These most recent efforts were led by the research team of Dr. Mark Denison, professor of pediatrics and associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Denison details this work with host Dr. Mark Nolan Hill. From a global perspective, how does our ability to synthesize complex viruses like this one enhance our capacity to deal with threatening pathogens?