Photo credit: Purdue University image/courtesy of Kuhn and Rossmann research groups
The Zika virus has unique surface carbohydrates, shown in red.
The dramatic rise in cases of children being born in Brazil and other parts of South America with underdeveloped brains led to the World Health Organization declaring the Zika virus a global public health emergency. While it is highly suspected that the virus is causing children to be born with microcephaly, the link is difficult to definitively prove. Yet the increase in cases and its rapid spread has meant researchers have been working flat out to try and pin this link down, as well as find some way to stop the virus in its tracks.