On February 19, American scientists announced that they had created the first three-dimensional atomic scale structure map of the new coronavirus attaching and infecting human cells. The team is sending its molecular structure map to researchers around the world, including many groups in China, which will help vaccine development.
The model can also help scientists develop new proteins that bind to different parts of the spike, prevent it from functioning and treat people who have been infected.
A team from the University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) first studied the genetic code of the virus publicly provided by Chinese researchers and used it to develop a sample of the virus's spike protein. They then imaged the spike protein using a low-temperature electron microscope.
The head of the study said the spike protein is an antigen we want to introduce into humans to trigger an immune response to produce antibodies. This way, the immune system is ready to attack when it comes to a real virus.
In addition, the team also analyzed the near atomic resolution structure of the first s protein of the new coronavirus by cryo em, and found that most of the three receptor binding domains (RBDS) of the new coronavirus s protein trimer rotated, making it easier to interact with the receptors on the cell surface. This also explains why 2019 ncov is more infectious than other coronaviruses.
It is understood that three scientists who developed the technology were awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2017.
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