By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston lab that studies some of the most dangerous microbes in the world is now part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Scientists at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories in the South End have had their hands on a live sample of the coronavirus for the last week hoping to find a potential treatment.

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“We had our first harvest of the material; we took that on Sunday,” Dr. Robert Davey from the BU lab said during an online conference Wednesday. “We’re continuing to grow it and get to know the virus.  It’s always good to know your enemy.”

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According to BU, they “expect to test thousands of different drugs for their ability to curb COVID-19 infection—all within a matter of weeks.”

The live coronavirus sample came from the first person diagnosed with the disease in Washington state.

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BU says this is the first team in Boston to start such work on the global pandemic.

Lisa Gresci