Würzburg research group prints the first biologically correct 3D model of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
Viruses are tiny. They cannot be seen with the naked eye and they are even too small for optical microscopes, which makes it difficult to recognize the danger that COVID-19 and its pathogen SARS-CoV-2 pose to the world.
Figure 1: The 3D printed model of the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus and an antibody in the scale 1 : 1,000,000.
This is why the international Coronavirus Structural Task Force led by Dr. Andrea Thorn from the Rudolf Virchow Center of the University of Würzburg has now developed a 3D model of the novel coronavirus which can even be touched.
The model measures 17 cm in diameter and can be printed with a normal 3D printer. The scientists study the molecules which make up the coronavirus and analyse it atom by atom. These findings went into the new model.
International team bundles expertise
23 researchers from seven different countries and different fields such as chemistry, physics, computer science and structural biology are working closely together to gain new insights into the inner workings of the virus.
They analyse every new molecular structure which is published, over 500 so far. Their make their improved molecular structures along with additional data available for drug developers worldwide in order to accelerate the development of a therapy or vaccines.
Making the state of knowledge accessible
What is remarkable about this model is its scientific accuracy: it realistically depicts the relative sizes and structures of the virus on a 1 : 1,000,000 scale. The virus hull carries not only the spike proteins (painted green in the photo) but two more types of protein molecules (lighter green and yellow).
As opposed to common depictions, the coronavirus is not exactly round or symmetrical, but can vary in shape and size.
Instructions for 3D printing and painting the virus model along with the necessary files are available at the Corona Structural Task Force homepage https://insidecorona.net/what-does-the-coronavirus-really-look-like/.
Interested parties can also find a state-of-the-art depiction of the viral infection cycle, as well as blog posts and information about the molecules of the virus on the homepage.
„We hope that this will make the virus more tangible“ says Thorn, hoping that the model will give children and adults alike an insight into the structural biology of the coronavirus.
About the Rudolf Virchow Center
The Rudolf Virchow Center is a central institution of the University of Würzburg. The research groups are working on key proteins are essential for cellular function and therefore central to health and disease.
Dr. Andrea Thorn (Rudolf Virchow Center, University of Würzburg, Germany)
Tel. 0931 31 83677, email@example.com
Dr. Judith Flurer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Nano-sponges of solid acid transform carbon dioxide to fuel and plastic waste to chemicals
31.07.2020 | Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
What we can learn from survivalists
31.07.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...
New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties
The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with a team of the V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered a method to increase the operation range of optical traps also known
Optical tweezers are a device which uses a laser beam to move micron-sized objects such as living cells, proteins, and molecules. In 2018, the American...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
31.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
31.07.2020 | Information Technology
31.07.2020 | Life Sciences