Coronavirus Image shows spiked protein shells that give them the resemblance of a crown or corona, which gave them the name. The microscopic images released by NIH shows these spike proteins as slightly fuzzy points protruding from the exterior of each virus particle.
The images of unseen culprit The coronavirus are finally unveiled by US scientists. The deadly virus that actually originated at the Wuhan city of china during late December 2019 has killed around more than 1000’s of people and infected more than 70,000 people around the world.
The Loss of lives faced around the world because of this tiny virus is irreplaceable but it is equally important to know more about this virus. Hence The National Institute of Health Scientists collected the samples from an infected person and captured the images of viruses emerging from various cell types using an electron microscope.
It was already said that this virus is similar to SARS, hence under the microscope when the sample was analysed the images of new coronavirus shared some similarities with that of SARS, as the name SARS-CoV-2 of new coronavirus indicates.
Viruses are tiny culprits. Viruses are infectious which replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. When structures of viruses are studied, it reveals that these are different from bacteria or any other living organism.
Virus posses the potential to infect any individual living cell ranging from bacteria, plants to microorganisms. Viruses genetic makeup consists of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA (but not both), and a protein coat, which encases the nucleic acid. Protein coat help viruses to invade other cells.
Viruses are different in structure from bacteria or any other living cell. They consist of either RNA or DNA enclosed in a protein shell called the capsid. One virus differs from the other in terms of its genetic makeup, DNA or RNA and the proteins on the exterior that help the virus to invade other cells.
Coronavirus has spiked protein shells that give them the resemblance of a crown or corona, which gave them the name. The microscopic images released by NIH shows these spike proteins as slightly fuzzy points protruding from the exterior of each virus particle.
When the sample was analysed under an electron microscope it was observed this new deadly virus resembles SARS hence World Health Organization (WHO) name the virus as SARS-CoV-2 and the disease as COVID-19. They also created a naming convention that links the two viruses together.
Viruses are so tiny culprits that they can’t be seen with light microscopes. Hence it is highly recommended for Scientists to use high-powered electron microscopes to see the viruses. And the images from the electron microscope showed the coronaviruses moving between cells to feed off.
On further analysis of spiked shell made up of protein revealed the original source of the virus as bats. But the most important question over here is how did the virus penetrate the human cells?
According to scientists, it is the mutation that happened along with their evolution progress. The microscope images of coronavirus show that some cells are attacked by this virus and in turn, these cells go and attack another group of cells.
The analysis of proteins that make up the spiked shell also revealed the original source of the virus as bats. Since the picture of the virus has revealed it could give scientists clues about how to demilitarize them. Present scenario of treating patients in china is by giving antiviral drugs and plasma transfusions (which contain antibodies the immune system built to fight the new coronavirus) from those who recovered from the disease to the infected individuals.
Trials are underway to use antivirals for Ebola and HIV antivirals to treat the disease. The ebola antivirals seem to be working on macaque monkeys affected with MERS, another coronavirus in the family. It could be used to treat and prevent COVID-19 as both MERS and SARS-CoV-2 share similar protein spikes.
And its these genomic and structural similarities that suggest the vaccine that US scientists developed to treat SARS during the 2003 outbreak and have now taken out of storage might be modifiable to work against the new virus that’s raced around the globe and infected more than 71,000 people.
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