Researchers from All Over the World Pitch In to Fight COVID-19

Scientists are lending their expertise—whatever it may be—to help develop tests, medical devices, and other tools to try to save lives during the pandemic.

The Scientist Staff

From engineers in Colombia to virologists in India, researchers worldwide have come up with ways to contribute their expertise to the effort against COVID-19. Click on an entry in the table below to learn more about a particular project.

1. LOW-COST VENTILATORS: Many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries lack adequate supplies of ventilators for severe COVID-19 cases but can’t afford buy more of the machines, which cost tens of thousands of dollars each. Engineers in Colombia have designed low-cost equivalents, and will soon be testing their performance in coronavirus patients.

2. WASTEWATER SCREENING TOOLS: Wastewater epidemiology—specifically, the idea of looking to sewage to detect and quantify infections in local populations—has become a popular approach for tracking the pandemic. A team in the UK is working on a simple, paper-based device that could be used onsite at wastewater treatment plants. 

3. VOLUNTEER NETWORK: As businesses and universities across Europe began shutting down in a bid to slow the COVID-19 pandemic, three animal behavior researchers talked about how they wished they could do something to combat the disease. Their online initiative, Crowdfight COVID-19, has since matched hundreds of SARS-CoV-2 projects with people who can help.

4. HOMEGROWN COVID-19 TEST: On March 18, hours before giving birth to a baby girl, virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale submitted her team’s COVID-19 diagnostic test for validation by India’s National Institute of Virology. The country can now produce hundreds of thousands of those tests every week, and is also exporting them to neighboring countries.