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The first images of India in the Crown show that it is round with a cobbled surface | India News


NEW DELHI: India’s first images of SARS-CoV2 under a microscope are in – it is round like other coronaviruses, approximately 70 to 80 nanometers (a human hair is approximately 80,000 nanometers) and has a cobbled surface structure.

The findings have been published in the “Indian Journal of Medical Sciences” based on a report from the National Institute of Virology in Pune, the nodal testing center for Covid-19 in India.

The specimen for these images was taken from a woman’s throat swab in Kerala, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in India. “A total of seven negatively stained virus particles that have morphodiagnostic characteristics of a coronavirus-like particle could be represented in the scanned fields,” the document said. “One particular virus particle was very well preserved.”

Studying the structure is crucial to understanding the origin, and ultimately developing vaccines to counter it. In the long run, it also helps to understand their evolutionary relationship with other viruses. In this sample, two specific structural characteristics of the new coronavirus were observed.

Compared to other human viruses and coronaviruses, according to the report, this sample had a shorter envelope (within which is a long strand of the RNA genome), of approximately 15 nanometers. However, that can only be confirmed when a sample is taken from a cell culture, he added.

The other feature was that peplomers, proteins spiky on its surface that give it the name “coronavirus” due to the crown-shaped structure, were found to be added. In the common influenza virus, these appear triangular. Images were taken of five different peplomers and a “stem” that connects the peplomer to the virus surface. Spikes are how the virus attaches to and enters human cells. Other studies on the structure of the stem could help to understand the genomic structure of the virus.

The technique they used, electron microscopy, had been used by Hong Kong researchers to study the structure of the virus. “There are no detailed studies on ultrastructural cytopathology available to date,” the document said.

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