Structural Task Force

Ferdinand Kirsten

Biochemistry B.Sc. Student

Ferdinand did his bachelor's thesis at Thorn Lab on solvent exchange and interactions in macromolecular crystallography.
Still new to the world of crystallography and structural refinement, he tries to help wherever he can, with a main focus on literature and genome research as well as structural refinement with Coot.
Even if he's more of the "I like to touch stuff and work in the lab"-type, in this desperate time of skype calls and home office he might find his hidden passion for bioinformatics . . .

Posts of Ferdinand Kirsten


Visualizing macromolecular structures

Ferdinand Kirsten
Form follows function Proteins are big molecules, ranging from 400 to 20 000 atoms. They are the work horses of the living world – they break down what you eat, build your muscles, organise cell division, make up hair and skin. They are formed from amino acids as a long chain that then cross-links and […]
SARS-COV2 Animated picture. Realistic surface and spike proteins with glycosylation. Image: Thomas Splettstoesser;

The invisible enemy

Ferdinand Kirsten
SARS-CoV-2: Not new, but different The novel Coronavirus (2019‐nCoV) is classified as a large positive sense single stranded RNA-Virus from the family of betacoronaviruses. It shows high genetic similarity to SARS‐CoV and MERS‐CoV and is even closer related to the Bat-SARS-like corona virus, from which it most likely evolved. Even though it shows a lot […]
Protein crystals with polarised light, picture by Andrea Thorn

How can we measure the structures of macromolecules?

Ferdinand Kirsten
Proteins are complex and fickle molecules. Experimental structure determination can teach us a lot about their function, but this is not the easiest thing to do. It’s not as simple as looking through a microscope, focussing, and taking a picture of the protein. It’s more like when you have a broken arm and the doctor […]
Computer rendered image of corona virus by Thomas Splettstoesser (left), and finished 3D print by Thorn Lab (right). Picture on the left by Thomas Splettstößer (

How to make your own 3D printed coronavirus model

Kristopher Nolte
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. In addition, those without access to a 3D printer can still use the STL files to request printing from external services and then follow the instructions on painting […]
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Coronavirus Structural Taskforce
Universität Hamburg
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