Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers and their colleagues have discovered one way in which the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) wins its cat-and-mouse game with the bodys immune system.
The study, published in the March 20, 2003, issue of the journal Nature, shows that HIV-1, a common strain of the virus that causes AIDS, uses a strategy not seen before in other viruses to escape attack by antibodies, one of the immune systems prime weapons against invading viruses and bacteria.
Viruses typically vary the protein sequence, or epitope, of the viral envelope that acts as a docking station for antibodies. This variation alters the docking region on the virus and prevents antibodies from grabbing hold and targeting the virus for destruction. HIV-1, in contrast, continuously changes the arrangement of large sugar molecules studded across its gp120/41 protein coat so that those docking regions for antibodies are obstructed.
Jim Keeley | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
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Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".
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Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
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Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
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