How structural biologists revealed the new coronavirus’s structure so quickly

When the government in Wuhan, China, confirmed on Dec. 31, 2019, that authorities there were treating dozens of cases of pneumonia of unknown origin, researchers who remembered the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003 were uneasy. Was this another coronavirus, like the one that spurred that incident? Slowly, concern spread throughout the scientific community, and labs that had already been studying coronaviruses began to get primed.

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