Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Structure of hepatitis B virus mapped

Utrecht University researchers develop method to spray virus

Using a newly developed method, Utrecht University researchers have mapped the structure and composition of the hepatitis B virus. The researchers were able to map the structure by spraying the virus.

Their research brings us a step closer to understanding and combating hepatitis B infection. The method can also be used to analyse other viruses. The results of the search were recently published in two renowned scientific journals: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA and Angewandte Chemie International Edition England.

To better understand and deal with viral infections, it is essential to examine the virus carefully at molecular level. However, the virus is too large to do this using the standard methods. For that reason, especially for this project, Utrecht University researcher Charlotte Uetrecht developed a modified mass spectrometer that can spray the virus intact. She did this together with Prof. Albert Heck (Utrecht University) and researchers from America and Amsterdam.

... more about:
»Hepatitis »Spray »Virus

Preventing viral infection

Using the modified mass spectrometer, the researchers looked at the structure and composition of the hepatitis B virus, a virus that causes severe liver ailments in humans. With the spectrometer, the researchers not only observed various forms of the virus, but they also saw the virus’ molecular structure. This makes it possible in the future to block the production of viruses, and in that way to combat viral infection. The technology developed can also be used to map and identify other viruses, such as viruses that can potentially be used in weaponised form by terrorists.


Mass spectrometry is a technology with which scientists can identify molecules. Among other things, this technology is used in dope testing and for identifying paint traces in forensic investigations. Mass spectrometry works particularly well with smaller molecules. Viruses however are a million times greater in mass. To be able to use mass spectrometry nevertheless, researchers spray the virus with water through a high-tension electric charge. This technique separates the viruses from the water, enabling researchers to examine them individually. This spraying process is comparable to the transmission of a cold virus by sneezing.

Peter van der Wilt | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Hepatitis Spray Virus

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>