Unpacking the molecular structure of COVID-19 through visualizations

By Jeff Christiansen, Visualization Studio Manager, WSB

The molecular structure of COVID-19 is complicated. The ectodomain, also known as a surface protein, is complex. The 3D visualization focuses on just one of the surface protein complexes that protrude from the surface of the virus. All 21,539 atoms and 20,995 bonds visualized show how the attachment mechanism connects to the host cell. You’ve probably seen various generic models all over the news, but nothing compares to the actual molecular structure. Knowledge of this structure is helping researchers define and design proper pharmaceutical responses.

To create this visualization, data was pulled from the Worldwide Protein Data Bank. Developed using advanced visualization tools, expertise and software, the visualization is an accurate portrayal of COVID-19 that shows how complex the virus actually is.

Jeff is a visualization studio manager with more than 22 years of experience with many types of visualization projects, including over 400 miles of roadway with design elements that include five-level interchanges, bridge aesthetics, and complex roundabouts. He is an experienced project manager in the development and final production of disparate visualizations for municipal, state, and federal projects.

Jeff Christiansen [email protected] 214.789.0538

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