Trying to discover the genetic mutations for COVID-19 in Palestine
Under supervision of Academic staff from AAUP, AAUP Masters’ students of the Molecular Genetics and Genetic Toxicology Program and experts from the Ministry of Health, Arab American University in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Health launched a research project to study the genetic sequencing for COVID-19 between the Palestinian patients.
This partnership comes to enhance the importance of the scientific research in determining the features of the epidemiological situation in Palestine, in order to start a first of its kind initiative that will help in studying the reality and the future procedures concerning the Palestinian case.
This research will provide new visions about the factors behind the development of the virus and how to follow-up the changes in the virus in our country. In addition, this research will provide answers to many questions about the virus that will help specialists and the authority to determine future mechanisms to deal with the virus and help to contain it in Palestine.
Dr. Nowar Qotob- an Assistant Professor in AAUP clarified that this study aims to determine and distinguish the genetic mutations for COVID-19 between the Palestinian patients and whether or not these mutations cause some changes in the virus features. Dr. Qotob added that they will adopt the next generation sequencing techniques that depend on the genetic analyzing as a mean to discover the virus sequence.
The Ministry of Health asserted on the importance of this partnership between the ministry and the private sector to help in facing this dangerous pandemic especially that the ministry is willing to provide all kinds of support to the university including providing them with experts and samples to complete the study perfectly. The ministry trusts that this research will help to get some results and help in planning the future procedures based on scientific foundations.
Prof. Hissham Darwish- the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology professor in AAUP indicated that this initiative is very important to study the sequences of the virus and its mutation, and that this is what the world is trying to do now through observing the viral genome sequences for many samples of patients in the different areas and places.
The Technical Supervisor in the laboratories of AAUP, Mr. Hussam Salem clarified that scientists all over the world are sharing the genetic information that resulted from their study researches aiming to contribute to reaching to some scientific conclusions.
In his turn, Dr. Salah Zaidon – an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology in AAUP asserted that the results will be an important factor to determine the work mechanisms to develop possible vaccines according to the genetic composition of the viral genotypes in Palestine.