Coronavirus
Structural Task Force

SARS-CoV-2—The coronavirus

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 consists of molecules making up the virus hull, the protruding spikes (which allow it to infect a host cell) and the RNA genome inside. This RNA is a collection of blueprints that cause the infected 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 (e.g. produced through vaccination) 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.
Learn more about the Coronavirus Structural Task Force in the media!

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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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