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SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus that has caused a pandemic of severe respiratory disease—COVID-19— within several months of its initial identification. Comparable to the first SARS-CoV, this novel coronavirus’s surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and, thus, is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics.
Per the Illinois Stay-At-Home Order, NE-CAT has only has available beamtime for COVID-19 related research. On-site access is not available and all data collection must be conducted remotely.
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The MD2 Microdiffractometer on 24-ID-E has been at NE-CAT for almost a decade. In that time, it has been in constant use. Previously, NE-CAT had purchased spare parts for both microdiffractometers in anticipation of minimizing downtime in the event of mechanical failure. For the past several months, 24-ID-E users have noticed an increasing occurencing of an inability to center their samples which required intervention by beamtime staff. This was eventually narrowed down to an increasingly frequent failure of the zoom on the 24-ID-E.
In a bit of scientific fun, Kay Perry's paper with Rongsheng Jin, Structure of the full-length Clostridium difficile toxin B, was selected as one of the final 64 entries for STAT Madness. Head on over to www.statnews.com/stat-madness-bracket (after March 2) to vote for the best idea in biomedical science.
On February 18, 2020, in support of the COVID-19 outbreak, NE-CAT provided rapid access beamtime to researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research working on the the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein receptor-binding-domain. The novel coronavirus's surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics.
Rapid Access Beamtime is available for all research projects related to COVID-19.
The APS is currently in shutdown for maintenance until the end of January and NE-CAT has used this opportunity to move the EIGER2 from the dry lab and onto the C beamline. The new detector still needs its protective cover, colloquially called the guillotine, manufactured by Ed Lynch before commissioning proceeds.
The first EIGER2 X 16M in the United States has arrived safely at NE-CAT. This is the largest detector in the EIGER2 line with a 75 x 75 μm pixel and 18,093,576 pixels. It will provide rapid and accurate photon counting. Pascal Hofer and Zachary Brown from Dectris are on-site for initial testing of the detector in the dry lab. We can report that all 32 modules are alive.