Neutron research in the fight against viruses

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 are indispensable for important 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.


Recent News

  • Neutron Science in Europe
    Neutron Science in Europe, published as a joint initiative of the BrightnESS2 project and LENS Initiative, presents the current landscape for neutrons in Europe and addresses the challenges and opportunities for European neutron science to remain a key contributor in addressing current and future societal challenges.
  • LENS Chair receives MBE for services to science
    In recognition of his outstanding contributions to science, Professor Robert McGreevy was named in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022.
  • International Women’s Day Social Media Campaign
    To celebrate International Women's Day, we asked our female colleagues at Europe's Neutron Scattering facilities to share their insights & advice for women in STEM.