Coronavirus Questions Answered: Are Researchers Using HeLa And Stem Cells? – ideastream

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Trina from Aurora asked: “Are researchers using HeLa cells and stem cells to test for treatment possibilities and look for a cure?”

HeLa cells were developed from the cervical cells taken from cancer patient Henrietta Lacks back in 1951. Researchers have been using this prolific cell line for experiments since then, including to develop a polio vaccine.

MetroHealth’s Dr. David Margolius said researchers are currently using HeLa and stem cells to better understand the coronavirus and ways to fight it.

Margolius is particularly interested in a study published, this March in the journal Nature, that used HeLa cells to determine the receptor the virus uses to enter human cells, which he said can help treatment and vaccine research.

Margolius said new research about the coronavirus is coming out at an unprecedented pace, and many studies rely on HeLa and stem cells.