The research is part of the national Genoma project that seeks to decipher the genetic code of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the identification of its characteristics.
Rabat – A team of Moroccan scientists has managed to fully analyze the genetic codes of six viruses that emerged in Morocco at the end of March and the beginning of April, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Laboratory of Medical Biotechnology at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Mohamed V led the team as part of the larger “Genoma” project. The researchers used the modern technology of Nanopore Oxford for the first time in Morocco, Dr. Azzedine Ibrahimi said in a statement to Morocco World News.
Ibrahimi, the director of the BioInova Research Center and the head of Biotechnology Lab at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat, said the team’s analyses will soon be published in an international peer-reviewed scientific journal.
The team compared the Moroccan genomes with 30,000 genomes at the international level, “where it was found that they do not differ much from the globally spreading species,” Ibrahimi explained.
The professor said the findings confirm the “limited genetic diversity of the virus and [support] the assumption that medicines and vaccines under development would be very effective against all types of COVID-19 virus at the global level.”
The research is part of the national Genoma project that seeks to decipher the genetic code of the virus through the identification of its characteristics.
The scientist conveyed thanks to all members of the Moroccan team led by Professors Lahcen Bellemini, Saiz Amzazi, Chakib Al Najari, Rachid Mentak, and Leila Sbabo.
The scientist, who is a part of the health delegations active in scientific research to combat COVID-19, also thanked the Ministry of Education for sponsoring the Genoma project.
The Genoma project of the Med Biotech Laboratory of Rabat launched in April with the aim of analyzing, collecting, and sharing information on Moroccan biological data.
Ibrahimi told MWN in May that the Med Biotech Laboratory has created a 3D model of the novel coronavirus, complete with its proteins and spikes, using tools developed with artificial intelligence (AI).
The Genoma project has already recorded Moroccan researchers’ analysis of more than 3,000 genomes of SARS-CoV-2 as part of an academic initiative to improve the country’s pandemic response.
The project’s findings are the first of their kind in the world, Morocco’s state media reported earlier this week.