The leading scientific journal Nature published in its latest issue a breakthrough on the quest towards a vaccine against Zika virus. The article describes atomic structures of a surface protein of Zika virus in complexes with neutralizing antibodies derived from Dengue patients.
These antibodies act against Dengue, a tropical infectious disease, as well as against Zika. Scientists at Institut Pasteur determined the structures with PILATUS and EIGER X-ray detectors made by the Swiss manufacturer DECTRIS and installed at Synchrotron SOLEIL.
The determination of the structure of the Zika protein is already the second big success for EIGER detectors this year. In May, Japanese researchers published the structure of a CRISPR-Cpf1 complex based on data collected with EIGER. CRISPR shows great potential for gene-editing based therapeutics for serious diseases. First studies on lung cancer patients are currently being conducted in China.
EIGER detectors are high-performance X-ray cameras that measure X-rays diffracted on crystals to make the determination of atomic structures of protein complexes possible.
DECTRIS Ltd. is the leading provider of Hybrid Photon Counting (HPC) X-ray detectors. DECTRIS’ pioneering technology has transformed basic research at synchrotron light sources, as well as X-ray applications in laboratory diffractometers. To improve measurement quality, DECTRIS also provides specific solutions for customer developments in scientific and industrial x-ray detection, thereby pushing the state of the art and enabling new scientific findings. DECTRIS has been awarded numerous technology, business and design prizes. The new EIGER detectors were developed in collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen and with support from the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI).