Measles virus is perhaps the most contagious virus in the world, affecting 10 million children worldwide each year and accounting for 120,000 deaths. An article published in the Nov. 2, 2011 issue of Nature explains why this virus spreads so rapidly.
The discovery by Roberto Cattaneo, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, in collaboration with Veronika von Messling, DVM, at the Centre INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier and research teams at several other universities opens up promising new avenues in cancer treatment.
Measles virus spreads from host to host primarily by respiratory secretions. This mode of transmission explains why the virus spreads so quickly and how it resists worldwide vaccination programs to eradicate it.
The study in Nature shows for the first time how the measles virus "exits" its host via nectin-4, which is found in the trachea. While viruses generally use cellular receptors to trigger and spread infection in the body, measles virus uses one host protein to enter the host and another protein expressed at a strategic site to get out.
Nectin-4 is a biomarker for certain types of cancer, such as breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Clinical trials are currently under way using a modified measles virus. Because measles virus actively targets nectin-4, measles-based cancer therapy may be more successful in patients whose cancers express nectin-4. Such therapy could be less toxic than chemotherapy or radiation.
Research was conducted in Dr. Cattaneo's laboratory in collaboration with the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Langen, Germany, the University of Iowa in Iowa City, U.S.A., Centre INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier in Laval, Canada, Inserm UMR 891/CRCM/Institut Paoli-Calmettes/Université d'Aix-Marseille in Marseille, France, and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore.
Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) is a graduate and postgraduate research and training university. One of Canada's leading research universities in terms of grants per professor, INRS brings together some 150 professors and close to 700 students and postdoctoral fellows in its centres in Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, and Varennes. INRS research teams conduct fundamental research essential to the advancement of science in Quebec as well as internationally and play a critical role in developing concrete solutions to problems facing our society.
Gisèle Bolduc | EurekAlert!
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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