For the first time, scientists have shown that humans use an immune defense process common in plants and invertebrates to battle a virus. The new finding that human cells can silence an essential part of HIVs genetic make-up could have important implications for the treatment of people infected with the virus. Led by Kuan-Teh Jeang, M.D, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part the National Institutes of Health, the researchers published their findings in this weeks issue of the journal Immunity.
"This research suggests that a novel approach to HIV therapy targeting a stable component of HIV might be feasible," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
The phenomenon, called RNA silencing, was detected first in plants and later in insects. Although plants and insects lack the sophisticated immune defenses of higher organisms, they nevertheless successfully battle viruses by detecting, and then silencing, viral genetic material. Silencing leads to the destruction of viral RNA. Viruses, however, are not permanently defeated because they have evolved ways to suppress the silencing action.
Anne A. Oplinger | EurekAlert!
Hot vibrating gases under the electron spotlight
12.12.2017 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Plankton swim against the current
12.12.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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