Looking at the precise 3D arrangement of atoms within a protein helps us to understand how it can perform its functions. Radu Aricescu’s and Sjors Scheres’ groups have now been able to resolve individual atoms for the first time in a three-dimensional cryo-EM image.
COVID-19 is primarily associated with respiratory effects, but there have been reports of neurological symptoms. Using brain organoids, Madeline Lancaster’s group has found that the virus can disrupt the blood-CSF barrier, which may lead to long-term complications.
Specimen movement reduces the quality of structural data produced by cryo-EM. Chris Russo’s group presents a physical theory for the causes of this movement, and creates a new specimen support that eliminates it.
John Briggs’ group has uncovered the atomic structure of M1 matrix proteins, and their ordered arrangement within the influenza A virus, suggesting mechanisms for two critical processes in the infection cycle.
Venki Ramakrishnan’s group has solved the structure of the protein complex formed when mRNA is being scanned to find the start codon, providing new understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning initiation of translation.
The brain contains an enormous number of connections, known as synapses. Their loss is associated with many disorders. Radu Aricescu’s group and collaborators in Japan and Germany have designed a molecule that restores synapses in animal disease models, including Alzheimer’s.