Scientist Discovering The First Coronary Virus 56 Years Ago: June Almeida

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The first member of the coronavirus family that belonged to the SARS-CoV-2, which caused the disease of nearly 2 million people in the world, to be infected in 1964. It was viewed and detected by June Almeida.

Scientists from all over the world continue to work on SARS-CoV-2, a new type of coronavirus that affects all humanity. Research is done in many areas from trying to find the source of the virus to vaccination studies.

Work on the recognition of a new type of coronavirus continues, but the discovery of many different types of coronavirus actually dates back to 56 years ago. The first type of coronavirus to be transmitted to humans in 1964. It was discovered by June Almeida at St Thomas Medical School.

He left school at age 16
Dr. June Almeida was born in Glasgow in 1930. Almeida, who had a limited education at school, started working as a lab technician at histopathology department in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary after leaving school at the age of 16.

Almeida, who worked as a lab technician in Glasgow for a while, moved to London to move his career further and got the surname Almeida in 1954 by marrying the Venezuelan painter Enriques Almeida. Almeida used to use the surname Hart before getting married.

Pioneered new virus imaging method
The couple moved to Toronto, Canada, some time after their marriage. Dr. June Almeida started working in the Ontario Cancer Institute in this city. Dr. Almeida quickly developed his skills in electron microscopy here and pioneered a method that could better visualize viruses in clusters using antibodies.

The studies of Dr. June Almeida, who continued his studies in Toronto for a while, were heard in England and the scientist was invited to the country. He returned to England in 1964. Almeida started working at St Thomas Medical School.

Here he started working with Dr. David Tyrrell, who worked on the common cold. Dr. Tyrrell and his team looked at people who had a cold. The researchers wanted to detect viruses that caused the common cold in this study. However, a different virus sample named B814 was detected during the study.

New virus discovery: B814
In the study on the virus in the sample taken from the nasal mucosa of a student in Surrey in 1960, it was discovered that the virus persists the symptoms of the common cold but does not grow with routine cell culture. Scientists who have also conducted other trials with the virus have discovered that B814 has grown in organ culture. Dr. who discovered June Almeida then wanted to examine the virus under an electron microscope.

Dr. examined the samples taken from virus particles. Almeida was the first scientist to detect and display the coronavirus. Dr. Almeida explained that it has seen similar particles when examining mouse hepatitis and chicken bronchitis before.

Dr. Although June Almeida signed an important discovery, the first academic publications he applied with an article about the coronavirus rejected Almeida on the grounds that the images were bad images of the flu virus. B814, which was detected as the first coronavirus to infect humans, could only be published in the British Medical Journal in 1965. The first photos of the virus were published in the General Virology Journal in 1967.

The name of the coronavirus was also given as a result of this study. With Professor Tony Waterson David Tyrrell and Dr. June Almeida named the virus coronavirus due to the crown-like structures located on the outside of the virus.

Dr. June Almeida continued to work for a long time. He worked at the Wellcome Institute for a long time after St Thomas Medical School. Almeida was involved in the virus imaging study here. Finally, he took part in the HIV virus imaging study in 1980 as a consultant.

The first scientist to view the coronavirus, Dr. June Almeida died at the age of 77 in 2007. Dr. After 56 years after Almeida’s first viewing the coronavirus, humanity is fighting against the coronavirus epidemic in an all-out manner.


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