The New Yorker talks to Harvard and MIT researchers trying to figure out how to battle Ebola by deciphering its genetic code, including Harvard biology professor Pardis Sabeti, who heads the "Ebola war room" at MIT's Broad Institute.
The next morning, Gire took a car to the M.I.T. campus, carrying a small box containing the tubes of droplets with the Ebola RNA. There, in a lab at the Broad Institute, he and a colleague named Sarah Winnicki, working alongside two other research teams, prepared the RNA to be decoded. The work took four days, and Gire and Winnicki hardly slept. By the end, they had combined all fourteen samples into a single, crystal-clear droplet of water solution. The drop contained about six trillion snippets of DNA. Each was a mirror image of a piece of RNA from the blood samples. Most of the snippets were human genetic code, but among them were about two hundred billion snippets of code from Ebola.