Andrea Thorn had been a junior group leader for a less than a year when, in early January 2020, researchers in China identified the cause of a mysterious contagious illness with pneumonia-like symptoms. Less than a week later, they released its genetic code, which revealed the novel virus to be a close cousin to the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) that caused an outbreak in 2002-2003.
The rapid scientific response gave Thorn an idea for a talk she was due to give over coffee and cake to colleagues in her building at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg in Germany. She ran the only lab there focused on new computational methods for experimental structural biology. Most scientists in the building were infectious disease specialists.
"I needed to explain to them …Read More.