WHAT: Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, have identified a common Achilles' heel in a wide range of seasonal and pandemic influenza A viruses.
The study found an infection-fighting protein, or human antibody, that neutralizes various influenza A virus subtypes by attaching to these viruses in the same place. This common attachment site provides a constant region of the flu virus for scientists to target in an effort to develop a so-called universal flu vaccine. Such a vaccine would overcome the annual struggle to make the seasonal flu vaccine match next year's circulating flu strains and might help blunt emerging pandemic influenza viruses as well.
The study provides data about the antibody attachment site that are similar to the findings of another research group, reported on February 22, 2009 (see http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2009/flu_mab.htm). Taken together, these studies provide a blueprint for efforts to develop new antiviral drugs as well as a potential universal influenza vaccine.
The Scripps research team, led by Ian A. Wilson, Ph.D., in collaboration with researchers at the biopharmaceutical company Crucell Holland (The Netherlands), discovered the potent antibody during a systematic examination of blood samples taken from healthy individuals who previously had been vaccinated with the ordinary seasonal flu vaccine. Using sophisticated screening technologies, the scientific team isolated antibodies that recognize flu viruses to which the average person has never been exposed, such as H5N1 avian flu viruses. Through this process, the scientists found one antibody called CR6261 that had broad neutralizing capabilities.
Subsequently, they found several antibodies similar to CR6261 in other donors as well. With the help of a robotic crystallization laboratory, the Scripps team quickly determined the detailed three-dimensional structures of this antibody when bound to the H1 virus that caused the 1918 pandemic flu as well as to an H5 virus with pandemic potential. CR6261 bound to a relatively hidden part in the stem below the mushroom-shaped head of the hemagglutinin protein, one of two major surface proteins found on the flu virus.
Laurie K. Doepel | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences