Zooming in on Zika

The image above is the highest-resolution image yet of the Zika virus – indeed, of any enveloped virus thus far. 

A team of scientists led by Madhumati Sevvana of Purdue University in the US used the latest electron microscopy techniques to see the atomic details of the Zika virus structure. They took advantage of the stability of Zika virus compared to its flavivirus cousins, such as dengue virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and yellow fever virus, which allowed for a particularly accurate three-dimensional atomic model. 

“With the higher resolution, it is now possible to efficiently design vaccines and engineer anti-viral compounds that inhibit the virus,” says Michael G. Rossmann, a structural biologist at Purdue University.

The result was published in the journal Structure.  

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