A subtle structural change that may play a role in the molecular machinery for making HIV-1 (the virus that causes AIDS) has been identified by scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Maryland working at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB). If confirmed in living cells, the mechanism, described in the Jan. 20 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, might provide a new target for antiviral drugs.
The finding is among several to emerge recently from CARBs efforts to develop and validate sensitive tools for rapidly detecting and quantifying ribonucleic acid (RNA) interactions. RNA provides the genetic blueprint for retroviruses such as HIV-1. CARB scientists created a model system for tracking changes in an RNA structural element involved in forming HIV-1 viral particles.
As new HIV-1 viruses form and mature into infectious particles, two strands of RNA interact through a transient structure called a "molecular kiss." This structure is then packaged into new virus particles, which undergo further maturation after release from the infected cell. CARB scientists found that specific sites in the "kissing" structure acquire a proton (a positively charged particle) at a pH close to that of living cells. The protons presence alters the RNA structure and accelerates its refolding by a protein associated with viral maturation. Taken together, these observations suggest that such a mechanism might be at work during viral infection.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine