The mainstream media reporting on the corona-crisis show stunning images representing the virus. All these images are based on electron microscopy (EM). The SARS-CoV-2 virus has a size of 65-140 nm and EMs are the only types of microscopes that can visualize such minuscule particles. Worldwide, researchers now use EM approaches to study the virus. However, EM of SARS-CoV-2 is challenging and some published results are already subject of debate (Goldsmith et al the Lancet 2020). Thus, it is crucial to share knowledge to ensure that EM images are well interpreted and the correct conclusions are drawn, so that we can understand this novel virus and all together cure COVID patients. NEMI together with Nicole van der Wel and NVvM will establish a SARS-CoV-2 EM platform to display the current state of EM research related to the coronavirus and provide a platform for discussion.
Selected reads for corona EM
NEMI associated researchers Bram Koster and Montserrat Bárcena from LUMC have visualised viral replication sites within the host cells(Volkskrant article (in Dutch), Snijder et al, 2020 (preprint).
EM Traces COVID19 hiding at unexpected places
Recent work from Dutch scientists including NEMI associated researcher Peter J Peters has shown the virus in cultured intestinal cells (Lamers et al., Science, 2020), indicating the virus can infect not only lungs but also the intestines.