Free coronavirus sequencing kits for researchers offered by U-M startup

March 18, 2020

As doctors, scientists and governments try to get a grip on COVID-19, the University of Michigan startup Arbor Biosciences is providing free kits to capture the genetic code of virus samples.

Variations in that code reveal how the virus has morphed over time—for instance, enabling it to change from an animal disease to one that can be passed from one human to another.

The information could help shed light on how the genes of the virus, SARS-CoV-2, cause the symptoms of the disease COVID-19. But more important in the long run, it could help reveal the factors that enabled the virus to become infectious in humans.

By making the kit free, Arbor Biosciences brings more talent to the table fighting the new coronavirus. Cash-strapped research groups could test ideas within weeks, rather than having to revise a locked-down budget or go through the slow process of applying for a grant.

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