The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an illness that has spread across the globe, infecting more than 9 million people. The novel coronavirus invades cells through “spike proteins,” which sticks and binds itself to a host cell.

Now, a team of researchers at Lehigh University, Seoul National University, and the University of Cambridge have managed to map out every single atom in the spike proteins, including performing simulations on NURION, the largest supercomputer in South Korea at KRISTI (Korean Institute of Science and Technology Information).

The team believes that mapping every single atom in the spike protein is essential to better understand its role in viral entry into cells, which makes it the primary target for developing a vaccine or an antiviral drug against COVID-19.