Spiky problem

A detailed X-ray crystallographic determination of the surface glycoprotein spike of the Ebola virus could help researchers explain why this pathogen is so lethal and may provide new targets for preventative measures to stop the virus spreading during an outbreak. Erica Ollmann Saphire, Dennis Burton, and colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, determined the structure of the viral glycoprotein, the only protein present on its surface. Their study suggests that the structure reveals several important features that offer clues as to how it attaches to cells prior to infection.