Here is what COVID-19 virus looks like

Credit: University of Glasgow

In a new study, researchers have created one of the most detailed 3-D models of both the interior and the exterior of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus particle.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Glasgow and elsewhere.

As the world races to understand more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists are gaining increasing amounts of information about the viral components that make up the infectious particles.

While each new discovery on the virus provides scientists and governments with vital new information on SARS-CoV-2, none of them are able to give a clear overall image of the virus particles that can infect us.

Piecing together the complex scientific jigsaw of all the known details about this new coronavirus so far, the team have created a series of striking images and videos.

While the illustrations do not reveal any new information about SARS-CoV-2, they are one of the first and most detailed 3-D representations of the virus particles.

It was possible to create the detailed illustrations so quickly, thanks to a long-standing collaboration between the University of Glasgow and The Glasgow School of Art (the GSA).

The illustrations and 3-D models have been made freely available to view online and to download for use by anyone who wishes to visualize SARS-CoV-2.

A set of science communication resources incorporating then, including coloring sheets and an augmented reality educational app, are already in development at the CVR and will be released in the near future.

By visualizing existing data about the particles that transmit COVID-19, it’s hoped that this model will provide a valuable resource for anyone who wants to have a mental image of the invisible agent behind the current pandemic.

The team says the science of a virus can be better understood by making the virus particle into something tangible and interactable.

One author of the study is Annabel Slater, a freelance scientific Illustrator and graduate of The Glasgow School of Art.

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