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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: February 12, 2020

Coronavirus virtual research collection

Chemistry in Coronavirus Research: A Free to Read Collection from the American Chemical Society
ACS Publications

The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China has scientists moving rapidly to characterize and disseminate information about the virus. Because chemistry plays a key role in this effort, ACS Publications has compiled a collection of articles on coronaviruses that provides important insight into this research topic.  

Despite its newfound notoriety, coronaviruses actually represent a large family of human respiratory viruses, including the common cold and more serious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (known as SARS). This group of viruses can also be transmitted between humans and animals, leading to further complications in disease containment and treatment. 2019-nCoV was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and appeared to initially affect people who had visited a seafood and animal market selling live game, but person-to-person spreading occurred as well. Investigations on the source of 2019-nCoV are actively ongoing, and knowledge of the virus, such as its transmissibility and incubation period, is constantly developing.

The research collection contains articles from six ACS journals, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) and the preprint server ChemRxiv, and provides essential information on the mechanisms of coronaviruses and possible treatments. Some of the latest research featured includes all-new digital models of the enzyme crucial to viral replication of 2019-nCoV, showing this latest outbreak’s similarities to other viruses. Articles from recent years also suggest commonalities and can provide insight for current research efforts. In terms of treatment, scientists publishing in late January argued that novel therapeutics will be required to treat this new virus. C&EN recently reported that drug companies and biotechnology firms are mobilizing to develop diagnostics and therapeutics as new information arises.

Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.