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Jewish and Palestinian scientist team up for MIT home coronavirus test

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Published: 2 June 2020

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Jonathan Gootenberg and Omar Abudayyeh are now the only researchers allowed inside the McGovern Institute, working relentlessly on an efficient, inexpensive test kit for COVID-19

AMID THE GLOBAL COVID-19 pandemic, a silver lining is that researchers from diverse cultural backgrounds are coming together to work on the response — as Jewish-American Jonathan Gootenberg and Palestinian-American Omar Abudayyeh can attest.

Gootenberg and Abudayyeh both work at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They are collaborating with the Broad Institute-based laboratory of MIT neuroscience professor Feng Zhang, which released a protocol of an at-home coronavirus test on May 8.

“I think it speaks to one of the many ways science can transcend cultural boundaries,” Gootenberg said in a Zoom call with members of the Zhang lab and The Times of Israel.

The duo, who both grew up in the United States, have worked together very closely over the last five years. Abudayyeh credited some of their productivity to their diverse backgrounds.

FULL STORY A Jewish and a Palestinian scientist team up for MIT at-home coronavirus test (Times of Israel)

Photo: Jonathan Gootenberg, sitting, and Omar Abudayyeh, standing, left, work at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, October 31, 2019 (McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT/Caitlin Cunningham)

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