Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists devise strategy in bid to beat viruses

20.07.2010
Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.

Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.

By making the site of infection less hospitable for the virus, the virus becomes less able to mutate and build up resistance to drugs. The researchers were also able to target more than one virus at the same time.

Viruses take up residence in host cells within our body, which produce proteins that enable the virus to multiply and survive.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analysed molecules known as microRNAs, which regulate how much of these proteins are made.

The scientists were able to manipulate the microRNA levels, which enabled them to control a network of proteins and stop viruses from growing.

Most existing antiviral therapies only work against one virus. However, by adapting the virus host environment the researchers were able to target different types of viruses.

It is hoped that the research could lead to new treatments for patients suffering from a range of infections.

Dr Amy Buck, of the University's Centre for Immunity, Infection & Evolution, said: "A problem with current antiviral therapies, which generally target the virus, is that viruses can mutate to become resistant. Since new viral strains emerge frequently, and many infections are difficult to diagnose and treat, it is important to find new ways of targeting infection. Our hope is that we will be able to use host-directed therapies to supplement the natural immune response and disable viruses by taking away what they need to survive."

Scientists studied the herpes family of viruses, which can also cause cancer with the Epstein-Barr virus, and the Semliki Forest virus, which is mainly spread by mosquitoes.

Both viruses have different characteristics. Viruses from the herpes family replicate inside the nuclei of cells, while the Semliki Forest multiplies outside the nucleus of a cell.

Further research has begun to look at how this method could be used to target influenza.

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Tara Womersley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ed.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

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,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>