AUSTIN, Texas – Researchers from UT Austin and the National Institutes of Health say they’ve made a critical breakthrough in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 – the Wuhan coronavirus.
Researchers were able to create the first 3-D atomic scale map of the part of the virus that attaches to and infects human cells. This is called the spike protein.
Mapping this part is an essential step so researchers around the world can develop vaccines and antiviral drugs to fight it. One researcher at UT says they are already working on a vaccine as a result of their findings.
“Predictions are hard, especially about the future,” says Dr. Dan Leahy, of UT Austin’s Department of Molecular Biosciences. “I wouldn’t really want to give unfound hopes or expectations. What I would say is that just as evidenced by the fact that this came out so fast, that things are moving faster than we can imagine and they’re available to more people and more scientists worldwide. And so what I would say is check back in two months.”
Their research paper was officially published in the journal of science.