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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic.  Determining the structure of the virus is an important milestone in guiding the development of medical countermeasures like vaccines.  Daniel Wrapp et al. just published the structure of the 2019-nCoV “trimeric spike” – the portion of the virus that binds to host cells.  (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6483/1260)  Their data was obtained using cryoelectron microscopy, or cryo-EM.  This technique involves freezing a sample of the virus in a thin ice layer and then taking thousands of images using powerful high-resolution electron microscopes.  With these images, scientists can reconstruct a model of the virus that can then be used to ultimately create a vaccine. 

Protochips’ C-Flat product was used as the sample support for this research.  We’re proud to play a small role in helping the scientific community rapidly respond to emerging health crises.

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