While I want only to draw and paint, I will share a few things (that I sort of understand) about the spike protein.
The most obvious identifying feature, and for me it’s the pull to draw the coronavirus again (and again), is the spike protein (S protein). By now everyone is familiar with this proteinscape (yes, I made the word up) along the outer edge of the virus which forms the identifying crown that it is named after.
Visually, I appreciate layout, structure and textural qualities.
I purchase new materials and enjoy the freedom archival marking pens bring me (I do not let go of paint and brush). The pens allow for a tighter and narrower clean line that holds its fluidity.
I look up the word protein to find it comes from the Greek proteios defined as chief rank or first place. Interesting, though I can’t say this helps me get any clearer on S proteins. (…or perhaps it does…)
There are many proteins involved in the coronavirus assembly, including M protein (membrane protein) and E protein (envelope protein).
I understand S proteins are glycoproteins meaning they contain a carbohydrate (a slippery sugar molecule) which helps disguise the virus so as not to be detected by host cells.
Without the S protein, viruses like the (novel) SARS-CoV-2 would not be able to interact with the cells of its potential host and cause infection. It also neutralizes antibodies after infection. Consequently, the S protein was/is ideal target for vaccine and antiviral research.
Are some proteins programmed to be so sneaky? #SurvivalOfTheMostAdaptable
This subject is more complicated than I can say…so it’s wise for me to return to the studio. I’m keeping this simple. (Cuz I don’t know a virologists and if I did I wouldn’t interrupt them right now cuz they’re probably very busy.)
Spike protein, I wish I’d never heard of you. Go away.
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