Scientists create atomic-scale map of coronavirus’ deadly weapon, pointing out a path to fighting it

I previously posted here about a way users could help in the fight against the Corona Virus using their computers. We don't have good news. We have GREAT news! 

Thank you to all [email protected] volunteers for your contributions to help accurately model important coronavirus proteins. The collective computing power that you provide through [email protected] helps academic research groups world wide model important protein structures like these.

From a recent IPD news post:

"We are happy to report that the Rosetta molecular modeling suite was recently used to accurately predict the atomic-scale structure of an important coronavirus protein weeks before it could be measured in the lab. Knowledge gained from studying this viral protein is now being used to guide the design of novel vaccines and antiviral drugs."

Since the release of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences in late January, a number of important corona virus proteins like the one described above have been modeled on [email protected] volunteer computers. A list of these proteins is provided by the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID).


One viral protein in particular — the spike protein — allows SARS-CoV-2 to fuse its membrane with those on human cells, leading to infection. Researchers at UT Austin this week used cryo-electron microscopy to create the first 3D atomic-scale map of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in its prefusion state. Like other viral spike proteins, this spear-like molecule is thought to take on two distinct conformations: one before it infects cells, and a different, ‘post-fusion’ state after. Other groups are also applying similar techniques in their laboratories to learn even more about this critically important protein.

With this knowledge in hand, researchers at the Institute for Protein Design are now working to create new proteins to neutralize coronavirus. If successful, these antiviral proteins would stick to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and thereby prevent viral particles from infecting healthy cells.


If you would like to continue to help, I have a few videos assisting in getting setup with the BOINC software used for managing the work sent from researchers. You can see them below.



I have more videos to help with configuring BOINC for other uses as well. If you like my videos, please subscribe, like, and share. If you would like to join my team at Rosetta, you can join here after creating your account. If you need support, my team is more than willing to help. You can find us here.

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What is Volunteer Computing and why do it?
What is Volunteer Computing and why do it?

Volunteer computing (VC) is the use of consumer digital devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones, for high-throughput scientific computing. Device owners participate in VC by installing a program that downloads and executes jobs from servers operated by science projects. You can read a paper by one of the most known developers for volunteer computing platforms here. -

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