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Fighting the Zika virus

Scientists are determining the protein structures of the Zika virus with the help of detectors from the Dectris company in canton Aargau. These results open the door for pharmaceutical research to develop substances that act against the dangerous virus.
Scientists from the Dectris company are determining the protein structures of the Zika virus. (Generic image)
Scientists from the Dectris company are determining the protein structures of the Zika virus. (Generic image)

While athletes from around the world compete for medals in Rio de Janeiro, a dangerous pathogen is lurking in the background: the Zika virus. The Dectris company from Dättwil, canton Aargau, is substantially involved in the search for a vaccine against the infectious agent.

There is still no way to combat Zika because the structures of the surface proteins and the enzymes of the virus are as yet unknown. At least, until now. The latest edition of the scientific magazine “Nature” has published an article that could be a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine. The Dectris high-tech company from Dättwil could be a part of it.

Dectris AG’s two x-ray detectors, the “Eiger” and the “Pilatus”, have helped scientists at the Pasteur Institute, the Parisian basic research centre, to determine the structure of the surface proteins of the Zika virus. Together with other publications on Zika over the last few months, these results now make it possible for pharmaceutical research to develop substances.

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