The Power of #ChemTwitter in the age of SARS-CoV-2

One of the most notable things about the way that science is pushing back against the current Coronavirus pandemic is the way that research results are being pushed out at extraordinary rates in a mostly open manner, often with the attendant raw data being also available. New results have pushed out nearly all other content on my Twitter timeline with commentary, new results, links to breaking preprints, and a healthy dose of cautious scepticism coming from the scientific community. And in the small subsection of it that I call my virtual home, #Chemtwitter, people are kicking around ideas and contributing to a number of collaborative projects such as the COVID MoonShot, starting with fragment binding data from the UK’s Diamond Light Source, and now using the combined expertise of the world’s medicinal chemists.

From a seemingly random observation on Twitter, Peter Kenny and I have been discussing the implications of some of the new crystal structures of the SARS-CoV-2 protease (3CLpro, aka Main protease Mpro) on future inhibitor design. And with open platforms such as Figshare it is easy to us to share those opinions and discussions with everyone who’s interested.

Crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 protease 3CLpro with a bound inhibitor. Source PDB:6lu7

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