Zika structure mapped for first time | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


News

Zika structure mapped for first time

3-D image of virus could provide clues to how to fight it

By
2:00pm, March 31, 2016
Zika structure

NEW VIEW  Sugars (shown red in this 3-D reconstruction) poking out from the shell of Zika virus could potentially help the virus target neural stem cells.  

Zika now has a face to go with the name.

New microscopy images of the virus reveal a bumpy, golf ball‒shaped structure, similar to that of the dengue and West Nile viruses, researchers report March 31 in Science. It’s the first time scientists have gotten a good look at Zika, the infamous virus that has invaded the Americas and stoked fears that it is causing birth defects and a rare autoimmune disease (SN: 4/2/16, p. 26).

Cracking Zika’s structure is like getting the blueprints of an enemy’s base: Now scientists have a better idea of where to attack. “This certainly gives us great hope that we will be able to find a vaccine or antiviral compounds,” says study coauthor Michael Rossmann of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., who’s known for mapping the first

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content