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sars-cov-2

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7 December 2021 A cartoon image showing a person's arm and a needle with a vaccine being injected into it. The text on the left reads: "EMBL research: How structural biologists at EMBL Hamburg help to develop and improve RNA vaccines"

How structural biology helps to make RNA vaccines

Science RNA vaccines, such as the ones for COVID-19, represent a new approach in vaccine technology. Cy Jeffries, faculty staff scientist at EMBL Hamburg, explains the clever technology behind RNA vaccines, and how structural biology contributes to its development. EMBL Hamburg collaborated on several…

2021

science

7 October 2021 SARS-CoV-2 and planet Earth are merged together in this illustration

Six Ways to Protect the Planet Against Pandemics*

Events EMBL will host a conference to look at the state of the pandemic, lessons learned, and ways to improve pandemic preparedness. Here’s a sneak peek into what promises to be another interesting and informative EMBL conference.

2021

events

20 April 2021 Black-and-white sphere with coronavirus spike protein structures and a two-layered ring of virus membrane superimposed.

Variations on a spike

Picture of the week What does coronavirus’s spike protein look like in 3D? EMBL scientists and colleagues used cryo-electron tomography and molecular dynamics simulations to find out.

2021

picture-of-the-week

16 February 2021 Microscopy images of coronavirus-infected cells in blue and red, arranged on a clockface. Illustrations of virus particles.

Finding coronavirus’s helper proteins

Science A team of EMBL scientists and colleagues have analysed how the novel coronavirus affects proteins in human cells. They identified several human proteins as potential drug targets to prevent viral replication.

2021

science

9 February 2021 An artistic representation of how bioinformatics allows study of the SARS-CoV-2 infection process. On the left, coronaviruses are approaching a human face contour. On the right, protein structures and a network of connections represent bioinformatic analysis.

Protein sequences provide clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells

Science Researchers at EMBL Heidelberg have identified sequences in human proteins that might be used by SARS-CoV-2 to infect cells. They have discovered that the virus might hijack certain cellular processes, and they discuss potentially relevant drugs for treating COVID-19.

2021

science

20 January 2021

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage

Science A note on the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which has first been described in the U.K. and has spread to 57 countries. The note summarises epidemiological information about the spread of B.1.1.7 in the U.K. collated and in part conducted by researchers from EMBL-EBI.

2021

science

23 November 2020 Tube-like structures of a cell at sub-cellular level in red and grey.

Replication cycle of SARS-CoV-2 in 3D

Science Researchers have studied SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells and obtained detailed insights into the alterations induced in infected cells. This information is essential to guide the development of urgently needed therapeutic strategies for suppressing viral replication and induced pathology.

2020

science

4 November 2020 SARS-CoV-2 is represented as a sphere with spike proteins poking out of its surface, which give it a corona-like appearance. The spike proteins resemble triangular ‘bushes’ with three tips at the top. In the background, a cell surface is visible with ACE2 proteins poking out of it in many places. The virus is about to attach to the cell surface. The sybodies, represented as tiny V-shaped structures, bind to the viral spike proteins at their tips.

Scientists identify synthetic mini-antibody to combat COVID-19

Science By screening hundreds of sybodies (synthetic mini-antibodies), scientists have identified one that might stop SARS-CoV-2 from infecting human cells. This work, which holds promise for treating COVID-19, was conducted by EMBL Hamburg and collaborators from the Centre for Structural Systems Biology…

2020

science

15 October 2020 Four blue circular objects are surrounded with green structures, and the central blue circle with pink structures. The blue circles are human cell nuclei, and pink and green structures are proteins.

Repurposing drugs for a pan-coronavirus treatment

Science Scientists from the Beltrao Group at EMBL-EBI and collaborators identified drug targets common to SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV, three pathogenic coronaviruses. They also found potential drugs that could be repurposed as COVID-19 treatments, and against emerging coronavirus strains in the…

2020

science

8 July 2020 Artwort illustrating various aspects of infection research. The centre of the image shows a cartoon representation of a coronavirus. The spheric shape has been overlaid with a map of the world to illustrate the global spread of viruses. The edges of the artwork feature images of potential virus hosts (bats, poultry, dromedary), a group of humans, a microscope, pills, a syringe and vaccine vial, protein structures, and an illustration of a human lung. The background is set in yellow and red colour.

What COVID-19 is teaching us

Events The virtual EMBL Conference ‘SARS-CoV-2: Towards a New Era in Infection Research’ explored the importance of fundamental research, collaboration, and data science in containing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and discussed opportunities to improve our response to pandemics in the future.

2020

events

29 June 2020 Gene Editing and Embryology Facility at EMBL Rome

Editing the mouse genome to study SARS-CoV-2 infection

Science To study how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells, the Gene Editing and Embryology Facility (GEEF) at EMBL Rome will generate mice that express a human version of a protein called ACE2. The mouse line will be shared with preclinical research collaborators carrying out vaccine and antibody trials, and with the…

2020

science

25 June 2020 Scientists in the Hackett group at EMBL Rome doing lab work

Silencing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor with epigenetic modifications

Science EMBL scientists develop a new molecular tool to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. This tool is able to cause targeted epigenetic modifications of specific genes in specific cell populations. They will use it in mice to target airway cells that express the ACE2 protein – the receptor that…

2020

science

17 June 2020 Crystal selection for X-ray diffraction experiments.

Investigating the structure and mechanisms of coronavirus biomolecules

Science While global research on coronaviruses has shed light on the function of many SARS-CoV-2 proteins, the role of some crucial components remains unknown. Researchers at EMBL Grenoble will use a range of structural biology methods to try to solve some of the puzzles of the molecular mechanics of…

2020

science

16 June 2020 Tissue culture plates in an incubator.

Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 behaves in the gut

Science Scientists at EMBL and Heidelberg University Hospital are studying how the novel coronavirus behaves in the gut to try to better understand its epidemiology and prevent its spread. To do this, they are combining advanced imaging and sequencing technologies to study coronavirus in human intestinal…

2020

science

15 June 2020 Key visual for the virtual EMBL conference ‘SARS-CoV-2: Towards a New Era in Infection Research’. Credits: Aleksandra Krolik/EMBL

Improving our response to emerging pandemics

Events The emergence of previously unknown pathogens, such as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, raises many questions. To explore these questions in an international scientific forum, EMBL will host the virtual conference ‘SARS-CoV-2: Towards a New Era in Infection Research’ on 3 July. Invited…

2020

events

9 June 2020 Beamline Hamburg

Shining high-brilliance beams on coronavirus structure

Science EMBL researchers are studying COVID-19-related molecules by exposing them to high-brilliance X-ray beams. The Svergun group at EMBL Hamburg is using biological small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) as part of a global effort by scientists to elucidate the structural organisation of SARS-CoV-2…

2020

science

27 May 2020 Automated sample changer and diffractometer at the ID30B X-ray crystallography beamline at ESRF Grenoble.

Facilitating COVID-19 structural biology research

Science EMBL and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) restart the activities of the Joint Structural Biology Group in Grenoble to support coronavirus-related projects. A new initiative will allow users to be granted access to the High-Throughput Crystallisation (HTX) lab at EMBL and to a…

2020

science

22 May 2020

The hunt for neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Science Scientists hope that a legacy of the novel coronavirus in recovered COVID-19 patients – antibodies in their blood – could lead to drugs to treat others. The Merten group at EMBL Heidelberg has pivoted its microfluidics platform to support the search for neutralising antibodies that could…

2020

science

13 May 2020 Close-up photograph of servers at EMBL Heidelberg's data centre.

Understanding the role of our genes in SARS-CoV-2 infections

Science EMBL scientists will contribute to the new German COVID-19 OMICS Initiative to study the biological mechanisms contributing to coronavirus infections. EMBL group leaders Jan Korbel and Oliver Stegle, who is also affiliated with the DKFZ Heidelberg, will coordinate the set-up of IT infrastructures…

2020

science

11 May 2020

EMBL SPC facility supports COVID-19 projects

Science The Sample Preparation and Characterisation Facility (SPC) at EMBL Hamburg reopens to support scientists working on Covid-19 research. The SPC Facility is one of the best equipped facilities in Europe is therefore in high demand from external users. Re-opening the facility also allows experts at…

2020

science

29 April 2020 The Influenza virus

Understanding the influenza virus

Science The infectious disease commonly known as flu is caused by the influenza virus. It spreads around the world in seasonal outbreaks, causing millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Stephen Cusack, Head of EMBL Grenoble, has been studying different aspects of the influenza…

2020

science

28 April 2020 Close-up view of the interior of a protein analytics system

Exploring synthetic antibodies to stop coronavirus

Science Scientists at EMBL Hamburg and Karolinska Institutet Stockholm aim to find synthetic antibodies – known as nanobodies – that bind a surface protein of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Nanobodies could prevent the virus from entering human cells and causing COVID-19.

2020

science

24 April 2020 Collage of images representing wet and dry lab research and healthcare

Why share data during a pandemic?

Science In March 2020, planes were grounded, streets went quiet, and our lives changed forever. But while the world came to a halt, many scientists were ramping up their efforts to understand the new virus.

2020

science

16 April 2020 Micropipette tips in a liquid-handling robot

Helping to scale up coronavirus testing

Science Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg are contributing their expertise in a community effort to develop large-scale testing methods for coronavirus. Their goal is to increase the capacity and speed of testing, which is crucial for containing the pandemic.

2020

science

15 April 2020 Purified proteins on an SDS-polyacrylamide gel

Producing proteins for coronavirus research

Science The Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility at EMBL Heidelberg will produce proteins for several coronavirus-related research projects, to assist the development of new strategies to fight the virus.

2020

science

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