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Your Covid-19 Test Swabs Can Help Researchers at Northeastern

Since late August, the university has run more than 450,000 COVID-19 tests of students, faculty, staff, and contract employees. The vast majority of the samples collected on the Boston campus are processed in Northeastern’s own Life Sciences Testing Center, a state-of-the-art laboratory with state and federal certification on the university’s Burlington, Massachusetts campus.

Those waiting in line at the Cabot Testing Center may have spotted signs throughout the building with QR codes promoting the Testing Research Registry and Repository. The repository has been created by the university to collect COVID-19 test results and biomedical specimens donated by those getting tested.

tudents, faculty, and staff can securely elect to donate their test swabs so that Northeastern researchers can use the data to study the spread and makeup of the virus.

The research opportunities from a robust dataset are vast.

With an international student body, researchers might be able to track whether and how the virus mutates from country to country, said Jared Auclair, associate dean of professional programs and graduate affairs in the College of Science, lead of the Life Sciences Testing Center, and one of the principal investigators on the research proposal.

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