Doctors build a LEGO coronavirus

To help explain the coronavirus to the public, two doctors have built a coronavirus from LEGO bricks and talked about the genetic material, the capsule and the receptors.

Dr Hope’s Sick Notes has busted out the bricks in a recent video, with the host having his AFOL colleague build a LEGO coronavirus model. The two medical professionals use the build to talki about the coronavirus in an accessible way.

First, the pair go through the parts of the virus. “Broadly speaking we have three parts of a virus, we have the genetic material,” says Dr Hope. “That’s RNA,” says Dr Hudson. “Then we have a kind of capsule round the outside,” Dr Hope continues. “That envelopes the genetic code,” the RNA, says Dr Hudson. “Then we have the receptors on the outside as well,” Dr Hope concludes.

Dr Hudson dives into her LEGO brick collection and starts putting together a LEGO coronavirus model, while explaining to her colleague what some of the bricks are. She also uses the pieces to explain more about the virus: “I am thinking these are going to be that nice glycoprotein, that is on the outside of the coronavirus. The coronavirus has these little spikes or projections that almost make it look like a sun, that’s why it gets the name coronavirus.”

It ends up being quite the large model and for those who struggle to understand scientific concepts, goes a long way top making it all a bit more tangible.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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