Scientists have successfully immunized mice against Ebola virus using hollow virus-like particles, or VLPs, which are non-infectious but capable of provoking a robust immune response. These Ebola VLPs conferred complete protection to mice exposed to lethal doses of the virus.
The work could serve as a basis for development of vaccines and other countermeasures to Ebola, which causes hemorrhagic fever with case fatality rates as high as 80 percent in humans. The virus, which is infectious by aerosol, is of concern both as a global health threat and a potential agent of biological warfare or terrorism. Currently there are no available vaccines or therapies.
In a study published in this weeks online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sina Bavari and colleagues at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) describe creating VLPs from two Ebola virus proteins, glycoprotein (GP) and matrix protein (VP40). These VLPs resemble a shell of infectious viral particles but lack the genetic material necessary for reproduction.
Caree Vander Linden | EurekAlert!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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