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SANTA FE – New research by two Los Alamos National Laboratory bio-physicists shows how part of the spike protein, those spiky images we have all seen of the virus that causes COVID-19, fuses with and infects human cells.

The research by Karissa Sanbonmatsu and Chang-Shung Tung was presented this week at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Chicago, with about 3,000 physicists and bio-physicists in attendance.

Using the lab’s supercomputers with new computer models to produce molecular simulations has given the researchers some of the first visualizations of that part of the protein spike.

“Developing a digital twin of the extremely tiny, but important, structures allows researchers to explore potential techniques for blocking the infection at the source,” LANL said in a news release.

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