The protein that forms the protective capsid surrounding the West Nile virus genetic material may contribute to the deadly inflammation associated with the virus. West Nile virus, which has rapidly spread across the United States, causes neurological symptoms and encephalitis, which can result in paralysis or death. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the West Nile virus capsid (WNV-Cp) is a destructive protein that can trigger apoptosis – the automatic self-destructive program within cells – inside infected cells, possibly adding to the damage caused by the virus. Their findings are presented in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site.
"Despite the fact that West Nile virus is a global health threat, we understand very little of the pathogenesis of the disease caused by this virus," said David Weiner, PhD, associate professor in Penns Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "Since there is currently no specific treatment for West Nile virus, it is important to understand the biology of this virus to help us devise vaccines and new treatments for the West Nile virus infection."
According to the CDC, the West Nile virus has infected over 3700 people and killed over 200, mostly elderly, people since it was first introduced to the United States in 1999. The numbers of those infected, however, may be much higher since the disease often takes a mild form in healthy people who are less likely to seek treatment and the CDC numbers only count for those cases known to state medical agencies. The virus is spread primarily through its insect host, the mosquito, although it is now known to spread through mothers breast milk and organ transplantations.
Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences