Artificial 'Honey Pot' Cells Lure Deadly Viruses, Then Deactivate Them

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 17:00 in Biology & Nature

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Weill Cornell Medical College have found a new means to hunt viruses the old fashioned way: by luring them in for the kill. Using artificial, protocellular "honey pots," the researchers have devised a way to trap deadly human viruses and terminate them with extreme prejudice. A new paper describes how these artificial honey pots can be disguised as the very cells a certain class of viruses--known as henipaviruses--is designed to infect. These viruses, which include respiratory syncytial virus, mumps, measles, and parainfluenza, infect cells via two predatory proteins that work in tandem to track and infect their prey. Related ArticlesThe New Virus KillerFirst Video of a Virus Being BornVirus Helps Researchers Split Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen TagsScience, Clay Dillow, antivirals, health, henipaviruses, medicine, nistOne of these proteins works as a spotter, identifying the receptor protein on target cells and...

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