Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists make significant advance in understanding 'sickness' bug

27.06.2007
A breakthrough announced this week by scientists at the University of Southampton's School of Medicine will lead to greater understanding of noroviruses, the most common cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis around the world.

Traditionally very little has been known about the biology of noroviruses because of the difficulty in culturing and manipulating these pathogens in the laboratory. Now the Southampton team, assisted by colleagues at the University of Otago and Washington University Medical School, has devised a system for manipulating the genome of the murine norovirus (MNV) which affects rodents. This breakthrough will lead to a greater understanding of how these pathogens work and, it is hoped, lead to ways of controlling them.

Human noroviruses, which are closely related to the murine norovirus, are responsible for extensive outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting in cruise ships, hotels, schools and hospitals. Up to a million cases of norovirus infection are estimated to occur annually in the UK.

'The human noroviruses have been exceedingly difficult to work with as there is no cell culture system to propagate these viruses, and as a result very little is known about their biology,' comments Professor Ian Clarke, who heads the Virus Group at Southampton.

... more about:
»Biology »MNV »Norovirus

'In the absence of a cell culture system, MNV is a surrogate for study of the human noroviruses. This study represents the culmination of a ten-year research quest in Southampton to obtain recovery of a live norovirus from its nucleic acid.'

The team in Southampton included Drs Vernon Ward, Christopher McCormick, Omar Salim and Paul Lambden and Professor Clarke. Together with Drs Larissa Thackray, Christiane Wobus and Skip Virgin at Washington University School of Medicine they devised a novel way of introducing a complete DNA copy of the MNV RNA genome into human cells grown in the laboratory. This allowed recovery for the first time of intact, functional viral particles from human tissue culture. They also used their system to mutate the virus so that they could identify a sequence that is essential for viral replication.

Their reverse infectious genetics system will be an essential tool for understanding the replication and molecular biology of this and human noroviruses and will help in the development of antivirals aimed at controlling infections.

The work, which was funded through a Wellcome Trust project grant, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) this week.

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

Further reports about: Biology MNV Norovirus

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>