Coronavirus
Structural Task Force

SARS-CoV-2 - The Coronavirus

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 consists of molecules, which make up the virus hull, the protruding spikes, which allow it to infect a host cell and the RNA genome inside - blueprints for more protein molecules which, once a human cell is infected, hijack the host cell to produce new copies of the virus. If you would like to know how this works in more detail, you can find an animated viral life cycle here along with explanations.
Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 geschlossene, wissenschaftliche Illustration von Thomas Splettstoesser, www.scistyle.com
If we understand these molecules, we cannot only learn how the virus works, but may also find a cure. Antibodies (produced from vaccines) and small molecules (drugs) both bind to these protein macromolecules like keys to a lock and can deactivate them.

The Coronavirus Structural Task Force evaluates the protein structures from Coronavirus, improves them by pushing the structural biology methods to their limit and puts these structures into context for drug developers and other scientists.

TL;DR? Watch this video:
Elektronenmikroskopische Aufnahme von SARS-CoV-2, dem Erreger von COVID-19. Diese Viren wurden aus einem Patienten isoliert.
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient. Image captured and colorized at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana. Credit: NIH-NIAID.
More about the Coronavirus Structural Taskforce in the media

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How to make your own 3D printed coronavirus model

The instructions and files below will allow you to create your own model of the virus! All you need is some spare time and a 3D printer.

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June 5, 2020
Spike Glycoprotein: Corona’s Key for Invasion

COVID-19 is caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. This virus has a characteristic virus hull featuring surface proteins which are commonly called “spikes”. Protruding from the viral hull like “spikes of a crown”, they give the coronavirus its name (corona = crown).  These proteins make the first contact with human cells and are akin to […]

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June 2, 2020
I Hear SARS-CoV-2 Was Made in a Lab, What do you Think?

It has been said that a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on. This article looks into the claims that SARS-CoV-2 was produced in a lab and presents the science that has now had time to put on its shoes.

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May 18, 2020
How can we measure the structures of macromolecules?

How are the structures of proteins measured? Which common methods are there? What Data do you get?

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April 30, 2020
Making a Virus-Killer

Andrea explains how medicinal drugs are designed, why Aspirin helps against your headache and how the Task Force helps drug designers against COVID-19.

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April 15, 2020
The invisible enemy

What is the virus? Which molecular structures make up SARS-CoV-2? How can it infect other cells?

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April 7, 2020
Visualizing macromolecular structures

"I don't see how you could possibly describe a protein structure in a thousand words, but you can come a lot closer with one picture." - Jane Richardson

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Coronavirus Structural Taskforce
Universität Hamburg
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