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Researchers’ race to control Covid captured in new timeline

The unprecedented scale and speed of the global scientific and medical response to COVID-19 has been captured in a new timeline developed by the Royal Society of Medicine.

On the eve of its milestone conference to mark two years since the UK’s first lockdown, the RSM has published a research timeline, charting the key discoveries over the past 24 months.

From understanding the virus, developing tests and discovering how to contain it, to creating vaccines in record time, the timeline gives a month-by-month account of how research rose to the challenge of COVID-19.

See the COVID-19 Two Years On: A Research Timeline.

About the timeline:

The volume and speed of research on the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in the history of scientific and medical publishing. As soon as the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered, research groups worldwide investigated its biology, developed diagnostic tests or explored public health measures to control it. Researchers raced to find treatments and create vaccines that could bring the pandemic under control.

The timeline presents a research perspective on the pandemic with a selection of the key discoveries made month-by-month between January 2020 and March 2022.

Research findings are presented by their earliest announcement in the press, as a news release, preprint or e-pub before print article.

Where available, the final peer-reviewed publication details are provided in a separate reference list.

For the timeline to flow coherently, earlier or later studies may be weaved into the narrative for some months. Clinical trials and studies still underway are not covered in this timeline.

See more from our COVID-19 series

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