Researchers have determined the first detailed molecular images of a piece of the spike-shaped protein that the SARS virus uses to grab host cells and initiate the first stages of infection. The structure, which shows how the spike protein grasps its receptor, may help scientists learn new details about how the virus infects cells. The information could also be helpful in identifying potential weak points that can be exploited by novel antiviral drugs or vaccines.
The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus was responsible for a worldwide outbreak in 2002-2003 that affected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 before being brought under control. Public health experts worry about another outbreak of the virus, which originates in animals such as civet cats.
The research team, led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Stephen C. Harrison at Childrens Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleague Michael Farzan, also at Harvard Medical School, reported its findings in the September 16, 2005, issue of the journal Science. Lead author Fang Li in Harrisons laboratory and Wenhui Li in Farzans laboratory, also collaborated on the study.
Jim Keeley | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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