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Researchers identify cells likely targeted by COVID-19 virus

Researchers at MIT; the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard; and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; along with colleagues from around the world have identified specific types of cells that appear to be targets of the coronavirus that is causing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Using existing data on the RNA found in different types of cells, the researchers were able to search for cells that express the two proteins that help the SARS-CoV-19 virus enter human cells. They found subsets of cells in the lung, the nasal passages, and the intestine that express RNA for both of these proteins much more than other cells.