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Viruses at High Resolution

VP6 at 3.8 Å

One of the main limitations of the single-particle technique in cryo-EM is the attainable resolution.

We are collaborating with Stephen Harrison (HHMI, Harvard Medical School) to use virus particles as test specimens to develop better single particle image-processing methods. Virus particles have a high degree of symmetry and are stable in an aqueous solution, making them ideal for EM imaging.

We have used rotavirus particles to determine a structure of several of the capsid proteins to a resolution of 3.8 Å (Figure) [1][2]. Rotavirus is also a good particle for the development and testing of new image processing methods [3][4][5].

Furthermore, we use helical viruses, such as TMV [6], to test new algorithms for helical particle processing.