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Covid-19 patients in an intensive care unit at the Gilberto Novaes Hospital in Manaus, Brazil, in May

Michael Dantas/AFP via Getty Images

A YEAR ago, nobody had even heard of SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, covid-19. Today, they are household names all over the world, thanks in no small part to an unprecedented scientific heave.

“Doing research in an outbreak is really challenging,” says Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford. “But it has moved super quickly. It’s been amazing.”

In just less than 12 months, scientists and medics have filled many of the urgent knowledge gaps, from …