The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia has created a new detailed three-dimensional model of SARS-CoV-2. The discovery is aimed at revealing new aspects of the virus and its authors hope to pave the way to find drugs against it.
Thanks to information obtained with electron microscopes and the analysis of protein databases, researchers from the Arab university have found a tool that can help the scientific community in the fight against coronavirus.
The model, which can be updated as new information is discovered, makes it possible to view components of the virus at the atomic level that were previously impossible to see, as stated by university researcher Ondrej Strnad.
The system is easy to use. For its development, information was taken from images of the structures of an organism that have already been accessed and which are discernible. In the case of the coronavirus, this information is related to the shape and size of the virus membrane and the protein structures anchored to it.
“Our model shows the complete viral ultrastructure as we know it to date, and not just some arbitrarily placed, incomplete spike proteins on a lipid membrane”explains computer science doctoral student Ngan Nguyen at the Saudi center.
The researchers involved in this advance hope that their achievement will help the scientific community, as well as specialists from different biological fields will share among themselves the information they discover and the progress they are making.