The current HAART therapy against HIV uses a combination of several different drugs, which decreases the probability of simultaneous development of resistance against different drugs. Team of Slovenian undergraduate students from the University of Ljubljana together with their mentors from the National institute of chemistry of Slovenia (NIC) developed a new strategy of antiviral defense that is not breached by viral mutations. Their approach, which the students half-jokingly called »Virotrap« is based on detecting viral function rather than specific sequences.
Viral function such as attachment to the host cells triggers a cellular response which can either activate the antiviral defence or lead to a destruction of infected cells to prevent spread of the infection. The effect of viral mutations is thus avoided since mutations that cause the loss of the function also render the virus harmless. Leader of the team, prof. Roman Jerala from the NIC says: “The same approach could be implemented for defence against other viral infections. We think we can design the system that can be activated also by other HIV-specific functions”. Animal experiments will be needed to test the therapeutic potentials of this system, which would be applied as gene therapy but results on cells look very promising.
Team competed with this project at the recent international Genetically Engineered Machines competition iGEM) held at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the first weekend of November and was among the 56 teams selected among the six finalists and won the fist prize among the projects on the topic of Health and Medicine. Other interesting projects in this competition included artificial blood made of bacteria by the Berkeley team (Bactoblood), anticancer therapy based on the siRNA by the Princeton team, Infector detector by the Imperial College team, multicellular organisms based on bacteria by the Paris team and many others.
Brigita Pirc | alfa
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16.07.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
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16.07.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
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