Science facilities worldwide have been working around the clock to drive forward SARS-CoV-2 research to alleviate the suffering that the COVID-19 pandemic is currently causing.
Today (November 10), in recognition of World Science Day for Peace and Development, the collective efforts of thousands of scientists and technical experts is being marked through this year’s focus – “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic.”
At the start of the pandemic, the facilities that make up the Lightsources.org collaboration were swift to ensure that rapid access was available for researchers working on SARS-CoV-2. This has led to a large body of research being undertaken at synchrotrons and free electron lasers. The aims have been varied and include mapping the structure of the virus; finding binding sites for drugs to lock into; screening existing drugs to establish if they have a role to play in treating patients; understanding the impact of the virus on the lungs; and understanding the immune response so vaccines can be designed to illicit an immune response in the body.
A dedicated, regularly updated, web page – Lightsource research for SARS-CoV-2 – draws together all this research, along with other publications and resources. It also includes links for researchers wishing to gain rapid access for their SARS-CoV-2 experiments.
The World Science Day for Peace and Development was created as a follow-up to the World Conference on Science, organised jointly by UNESCO and the International Council for Science in Budapest (Hungary) in 1999.
By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.
Learn more about World Science Day for Peace and Development on the UNESCO website
Image: World Science Day for Peace and Development 2020 poster