|Google DeepMind’s effort on COVID-19 coronavirus rests on the shoulders of giants|
There's been a quest for sixty years to understand the structure of proteins, ever since Nobel Prize winners Max Perutz and John Kendrew in the 1950s gave the world the first glimpse of what a protein looks like.
It was that pioneering work, and the decades of research that followed, that made possible the announcement on Thursday by Google's DeepMind that it has arrived at a guess as to the structure of a handful of proteins associated with the respiratory disease known as COVID-19 that is spreading around the world.
Proteins do the vast amount of the work of organisms, and understanding the three-dimensional shape of the proteins in COVID-19 could conceivably provide a kind of blueprint of the virus behind the disease, which could conceivably aid in coming up with a vaccine. Efforts are underway around the world to determine the structure of those viral proteins, of which DeepMind's is just one effort.
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