Scientists target the next pandemic with a “map” to victory over the virus

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An international team of scientists has created powerful new resources to speed up the development of vaccines and therapies to combat the next pandemic.

Wladek Minor, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.And a collaborator from China and Poland developed the Internet information A system called virusMED that lays out everything we know Atomic structure And over 800 potential vulnerabilities Virus strain From 75 types virus Families with SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Ebola, HIV-1 and more. Several collaborators, including Principal Investigator Heping Zheng, are former students and members of UVA’s minor labs.

This new panorama of potential threatening proteins helps scientists respond quickly and effectively to the next pathogens that are ready to disrupt humanity. Minor and his collaborators compare resources to Google Maps in that scientists organize and annotate key points of interest about viruses that can be used as a roadmap for drug and vaccine development. ..

“The battle with COVID-19 is not over yet, but we can’t wait to start preparing for the next pandemic. VirusMED brings together researchers with diverse expertise to tackle complex biomedical challenges. It’s the first step towards an advanced information system to work on, “says Miner. Harrison, a prominent professor of molecular physiology and biophysics of UVA. “The information contained in virusMED assists virus researchers in many disciplines, especially those working on drug design and antiviral therapy. It provides new structural analysis and integrates relevant information from a variety of resources. And the most important vulnerable areas of protein. “

Virus hotspot

By quickly elucidating the mechanism of action of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, scientists have been able to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. Minor’s new database aims to put such important information in one convenient place at the fingertips of scientists.

VirusMED contains extensive information about virus species and strains, hosts, viral proteins and antibodies, and drugs already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as other important scientific data. Researchers call the points of interest for the virus “hotspots,” which provide a powerful starting point for drug and vaccine development.

“One of the most promising strain-indifferent antibody therapies developed for the treatment of COVID-19 is a unique antibody isolated from survivors infected with the SARS virus in 2003 using this type of information. Has improved, “says David Cooper. PhD, research faculty member in the minor laboratory. “People who were surprised at the rapid drug and vaccine design are unaware that today’s researchers are built on decades of previous research.”

According to Miner, one of the main benefits of virusMED is that it brings together existing knowledge about viruses in one place. Previously, the data was distributed across multiple resources and was “siled” for easy access. virusMED allows researchers to view information by virus or by hotspot of interest.

“One of the goals of my lab is to create tools that other scientists can use. We look at the forest and find ways to allow others to focus on the trees.” Said Minor. “Resource generation is unattractive, but the ultimate goal of science is to make life better. One of the anonymous reviewers of this treatise said they soon became enthusiastic users of the system. Insisted. I hope virusMED really makes a difference. “

Researchers make their discoveries IUCr Journal..

3D analysis of SARS-CoV-2 reveals clues to viral tactics

For more information:
HuiHui Zhang et al, virusMED: Viral protein hotspot atlas, IUCrJ (2021). DOI: 10.1107 / S2052252521009076


Quote: Scientists win against virus obtained on September 29, 2021 from https: // (September 29, 2021) Targeting the next pandemic in the “Map”

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Scientists target the next pandemic with a “map” to victory over the virus

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