Structural Task Force

Andrea Thorn

Group Leader

Andrea is a specialist for crystallography and Cryo-EM structure solution, having contributed to programs like SHELX, ANODE and (a little bit) to PHASER in the past. Her group develops the diffraction diagnostics tool AUSPEX, a neural network for secondary structure annotation of Cryo-EM maps (HARUSPEX) and enables other scientists to solve problem structures. Andrea is very passionate about structural biology and good at bringing people together. This is (among other things) why she is the main coordinator of this project.

Posts of Andrea Thorn

aspirin tablets

Making a Virus-Killer

Pharmaceutical drugs can be found by chance, but today, most so-called active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are developed through a long, iterative process of designing and testing them. How? Targets and active ingredients Most medicinal drugs are small molecules with up to 70 atoms, which bind in the body to larger molecules, or macromolecules. These so-called […]
Floating coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

What does the Coronavirus really look like?

The coronavirus cannot be seen with the naked eye; it is invisible. That is a huge problem. Imagine if your house were on fire: you would react immediately, leave the house, call the fire brigade and warn the neighbours. The thread would be clearly visible. This is, however, not true for the coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 cannot […]
The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel

Babelian SARS-CoV-2 confusion

There is a secret code that virologists use to talk about the new coronavirus. This code is made up of synonymous words and abbreviations for each of the 28 proteins which facilitate the viral life cycle. In this article, we will shed some light on this mythical language. First of all, SARS-CoV-2 has three classes […]
This photograph depicted an Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB), Public Health scientist, who was testing a sample suspected of containing a bacterial toxin. (Picture: CDC | PHIL ID #23165)

What does the Pfizer press release really mean?

The press release A press release came out today from Pfizer and BioNTech SE with a announcement, you can read the full briefing here. Suffice it to say leading news outlets all over the world have jumped on the announcement with headlines like “Milestone vaccine offers 90% protection” (, 9th Nov 2020, 17:00 GMT) or […]
Mutation card from the game pandemic. Photo by Andrea Thorn / Coronavirus Structural Taskforce.

The new mutation of SARS-CoV-2

Introduction It is known as VUI‑202012/01 or B.1.1.7 – the new mutation of the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2. It may be responsible for a sharply increased number of infections in the southeast of England (​1​), however, the scientific results leading to very strict lockdown measurements in the south of the UK, and travel restrictions across Europe are […]
BILD Schlagzeile zu Pressemitteilung

Opinion: Press release about "Coronavirus Origin Study" by Prof. Wiesendanger and Hamburg University

“The coronavirus has led to a worldwide crisis for over a year. In a new study, nanoscientist Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger illuminates the origins of the virus. His findings conclude there are a number of quality sources indicating a laboratory accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the cause of the current pandemic.” This […]
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Coronavirus Structural Taskforce
Universität Hamburg
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