Coronavirus: constantly surprising virus found to be heat tolerant, self-healing and very resilient in lab tests

Coronavirus: constantly surprising virus found to be heat tolerant, self-healing and very resilient in lab tests

  • Hungarian team finds virus particle withstands being probed by a nano needle 100 times, possibly making it the most physically elastic virus known
  • French scientists find it can replicate in animal cells after being exposed to temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius for an hour

A research team in Hungary pinched the coronavirus with a fine needle to measure how much force it could take before popping like a balloon.

It did not.

The native virion of Sars-CoV-2 – a complete virus particle – was only about 80 nanometres wide, and the needle tip was much smaller than that. The tip drove from the top of the virus to the bottom. The virion was squashed, then immediately rebounded as the needle left.

The researchers repeated the drill 100 times and the same viral particle remained almost intact.

It is “surprisingly resilient,” said the team led by Dr Miklos Kellermayer of Semmelweis University in Budapest in a non-peer-reviewed paper posted on biorxiv.org on Thursday.