These are the cells most vulnerable to the coronavirus


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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — A new research study details what cells are more susceptible to the coronavirus. Here's what you need to know.

According to research published in the journals Nature and Cell, specialists from around the world have identified cells in the lungs, nasal passages and intestine that are most susceptible to SARS-CoV-2.

Findings of the research show that secretory cells, which produce mucus in the nasal passages, have the RNAs for both proteins that COVID-19 searches for to attack a cell.

Results also suggest that the coronavirus could have mutated to attack interferon, which are proteins released by cells to fight off viruses and infections.

Researchers also found that cells in the intestine that are in charge of partial nutrient absorption called enterocytes also express the RNAs for two proteins, which makes them vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Scientists working on the study hope that these new findings will help specialists working on drug treatments for COVID-19.

In a press release published in MIT news, Alex K. Shalek, the Pfizer-Laubach Career Development Associate Professor of Chemistry said, "Our goal is to get information out to the community and to share data as soon as is humanly possible so that we can help accelerate ongoing efforts in the scientific and medical communities."

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