Popularization of research advances on COVID-19


The plasticity of the spike protein

Over the last two decades, three coronaviruses have posed a danger to public health: SARS-CoV-1 in 2002-2003; MERS-CoV in 2012 and finally SARS- CoV- 2 in 2020. Coronaviruses are “enveloped” viruses, meaning that they are covered by an external phospholipid layer whose composition is close to the membranes of human cells. The spike (S) protein is threaded […]


Which proteins contribute to infection?

In the last 20 years, several coronaviruses have appeared. There was SARS-CoV-1 in 2002, MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in 2012 and finally SARS-CoV-2, which appeared in 2019. This rapid evolution provides opportunities to discover common inhibitors, so that older therapies can remain effective in the future. In order to understand the degree of similarity […]


The two faces of the Spike

SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the family of Beta-coronaviruses. Out of the 7 viruses from this family that infect humans, two have already been responsible for epidemics and are relatively close to SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV), while the others are seasonal viruses causing respiratory infections. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus, with a single-stranded RNA genome (one of […]


The cellular proteins necessary for infection

By disabling one gene at a time, and thereby disabling the protein encoded by this gene, it is possible to understand its role. Several teams were able to identify proteins necessary for infection with the virus. What did we discover? The genes necessary to the biosynthesis of glycosaminoglycanes (also called GAGs) are important in the […]


How old are viruses?

Can we give a date to the first appearance of viruses? The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a instructive example of the kinds of pressure and danger that viruses bring to our health and our economy. This episode has sparked great public interest in virology. Viruses are non-living biological entities, since they don’t actually reproduce, which […]


Are mink a possible source of COVID-19 transmission?

The SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the Covid-19 epidemic could have its origins in animals. In order to enter a host’s cells, the virus attaches itself to a cellular receptor called ACE2. Given the similarities between the ACE2 receptors of different species, a certain number of animals could be liable to be infected by SARS-CoV-2.

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