The WMG University of Warwick researchers based their model on data provided by the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright, and from Oxford University. The Warwick team used rapid prototyping technology, normally used to create highly accurate 3D copies of components for a range of manufacturing processes, to create an accurate 3D model virus that is 5,200,000 times the size of the real thing.
Dr Greg Gibbons, who leads the University of Warwick's WMG's rapid prototyping team, is working with Professor Peter Mertens, head of the Arbovirus Research Group at the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright, and Robert Esnouf of Oxford.
Dr Gibbons said: "Research collaboration between engineers and biologists is rare although we have worked with Oxford and the IAH before. The physical model we've created is based on the same technology we use to quickly and cheaply create models of, for example, car parts; used by manufacturers to develop designs and test products before going into full-scale production."
The insect-borne virus is most commonly seen in the late summer and autumn and can devastate herds of sheep and cattle.
Professor Mertens said: "Blue Tongue represents the worst threat to agriculture this country has seen for 20 years. In its first year in Belgium it wiped out 100 sheep, but in its second year it wiped out 30,000. In Britain we have 34 million sheep – we could be looking at losing up to 20 per cent of that population."
"I don't know of any other way to create a scientifically accurate model of a virus. By using the computer models we've generated we can feed that information into the machines at WMG and create an absolutely perfect model of the real virus."
"The model will help us to understand how the molecules and proteins interact with one another and this could help us to develop new anti-viral drugs. Having a physical model that you can pick up and peer at will make a huge difference."
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02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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