Neutron research in the fight against viral diseases: Covid-19, AIDS, Influenza and others
As with HIV before it, Europe’s advanced neutron sources will make an essential contribution to the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Modern analytical tools such as synchrotron X-ray radiation, cryo-electron microscopy and neutron scattering work together to provide indispensable insights into the morphology and functionality of viruses. Neutron scattering’s particular role here is to provide unique information on the chemistry of enzymatic reactions that often involve proton transfer. Recent studies on HIV-1 protease, an enzyme essential for the life-cycle of the HIV virus, perfectly illustrate the case. To fight Covid-19, a variety of neutron scattering methods will be required to get the full picture of the “invisible enemy” the world has found itself at war with.
Here we offer a selection of both groundbreaking and recent articles and papers demonstrating the impact of research at Europe’s large-scale neutron facilities on humanity’s persistent battle against viruses.
- The first call for applicants for the GNeuS fellowship programme is open from 1 November 2021 until 15 January 2022.
- In the context of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), LENS has compiled a variety of resources demonstrating how neutron scattering methods are being applied in energy, materials, and environment research, to help reduce our impact on the global climate.
- On 27 October 2021, Professor Robert McGreevy participated in the New ERA Conference as part of a session on the sustainable funding of European Research Infrastructures.