: Scientists finally know what the Zika virus looks like

17:49 Apr. 1, 2016

Scientists finally know what the Zika virus looks like

A lab technician displays an Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with Wolbachia bacteria in a test tube for a photograph at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Getty Images)

The virus' 3D structure has been revealed

The incredible image above is the 3D structure of the Zika virus, which has only just been revealed. The finding could help scientists determine how the virus is transmitted and, hopefully, how to prevent infection, according to The Verge.

Watch also World to face severe Zika crisis - WHO

The report, published today in Science, describes the virus as a spherical structure resembling that of the dengue virus and other viruses in its genus, known as "flaviviruses." But the 3D rendition also reveals some important differences.


A representation of the surface of the Zika virus is shown. (Purdue University image/courtesy of Kuhn and Rossmann research groups)

For example, scientists found the virus' outer shell is slightly different from that of other viruses. This could help researchers attack the virus as a whole, or at the very least, prevent it from attaching to human cells.

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