Coronaviruses are barely living packets of genetic material encased in a protein shell that encode their genetic material in RNA inside host organisms' cells. Funding for coronavirus research rose after the 2003 SARS outbreak but has evaporated in recent years, and because viruses function through the host's cells, antiviral drugs must be precisely targeted and specific, says virologist Karla Kirkegaard.
Why a COVID-19 cure is elusive
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