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UK researchers try to crack genetic riddle of COVID-19

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:22s - Published
UK researchers try to crack genetic riddle of COVID-19

UK researchers try to crack genetic riddle of COVID-19

UK researchers looking for clues as to why this diseases effects people so differently are embarking on a new study.

One doctor leading the study at the University of Edinburgh says he's "bet his house" on genetics playing a part in individual risk.

Adam Reed reports.

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Why does coronavirus kill some people, but give others not even a mild headache?

British researchers will use the genes of thousands of COVID-19 cases to try to crack one of its biggest puzzles.

Researchers from across the United Kingdom will sequence the genetic code of people who fell critically ill with COVID-19 and compare it with those who suffered far less or not at all.

The hunt for clues about why and how people have been getting ill will involve up to 20,000 people currently or previously in hospital intensive care with the disease and about 15,000 people with mild symptoms. Scientists are still in the early stages of understanding this new disease.

Kenneth Baillie, an intensive care doctor who is leading the study at the University of Edinburgh, told Reuters he’s go as far as to “bet his house on there being a very strong genetic component to individual risk." UK Health minister Matt Hancock has also publicly called on people to sign up to the program in the hope of unlocking the secrets of the virus.

Some answers could come as soon as in a few weeks from a study of almost 2,000 people already underway.

Although by testing more people it will ensure data signals are genuine.

The results will be shared globally.




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