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  • COVID-19 virus spike protein flexibility improved by human cell's own modifications

    A computer rendering of an atomic-level model of viral spike proteins

    University of Illinois researchers created atomic-level models of the spike protein that plays a key role in COVID-19 infection and immunity, revealing how the protein bends and moves as it seeks to engage receptors.

    Image courtesy of Tianle Chen


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  • Editor’s notes: To reach Emad Tajkhorshid, call (217) 244-6914; email:

    The paper “Posttranslational modifications optimize the ability of SARS-CoV-2 spike for effective interaction with host cell receptors” is available online.

    DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2119761119