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Researchers at the University of Glasgow and the University of Dundee are joining forces in the fight against coronavirus

The two universities will collaborate in using their scientific expertise to find a way to defeat COVID-19. 

They will create biological tools that will allow them to study the virus itself.

A research unit at the University of Dundee, the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU), has identified 38 separate proteins in the virus.  

These proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the illness, cause individuals to become sick by triggering an immune response. 

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The Dundee team will manufacture these proteins in order to develop antibodies that can fight them. 

Director of the team professor Dario Alessi said: “I am delighted that we have been able to exploit the tremendous expertise available within our Unit to generate antibodies that recognise each of the 38 proteins encoded by the COVID-19 virus so rapidly.

"This represents a titanic effort, and I would like to acknowledge our dedicated staff who are working night and day on this project.

"As soon as each of these antibodies is generated, we will place these on our reagent website so that researchers worldwide can easily order these tools.”

Research tools developed by the Dundee team will be used by the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research (CVR) to study the virus.

Professor Massimo Palmarini, director of the CVR, said: “The CVR and its scientists are at the centre of Scotland’s – and the UK’s – response to the current coronavirus outbreak.

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"As the largest group of virologists in the UK with the facilities to handle samples from infected patients, we are well placed to conduct pivotal research into emerging diseases such as COVID-19.

“In the coming weeks and months, our scientists will continue to work in collaboration with a number of organisations to research SARS-CoV-2, its mechanisms of action and potential therapies.”

Both teams are funded by the Medical Research Council