Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Magnet Lab Researchers Deciphering Flu Virus

Date:
November 10, 2006
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
As the Northern Hemisphere braces for another flu season, researchers at Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida are making strides toward better understanding the mechanics of the virus that causes it -- a virus that kills between one-quarter and one-half million people each year.

Influenza virus.
Credit: National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

As the Northern Hemisphere braces for another flu season, researchers at Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory are making strides toward better understanding the mechanics of the virus that causes it -- a virus that kills between one-quarter and one-half million people each year.

Tim Cross, director of the lab's Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) program, and collaborators from Brigham Young University are trying to understand the minute parts of the highly virulent Influenza Type A virus. To do that, they are using all of the magnet lab's NMR resources, including its 15-ton, 900-megahertz magnet, to produce a detailed picture of the virus's skin.

"Using the magnet helps us build a blueprint for a virus's mechanics of survival," said Cross, who also is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at FSU. "The more detailed the blueprint, the better our chances of developing drugs capable of destroying it."

The only magnet of its kind in the world, the "900" is critical to the project's process. Otherwise, an image this complicated would be impossible to obtain.

Cross and David Busath, a biophysicist at Brigham Young University, recently discovered key components of the protein holes, or "channels," in the influenza viral skin. These components lead to unique chemical reactions that are thought to be important clues for understanding how the channels regulate whether the virus can distribute its genes into host cells and reproduce or not. The researchers' findings were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is a viral structure we haven't seen before," Busath said. "And yet, through these tiny little doors, acids must come in and DNA must go out if the virus is to survive. The idea is to block the door to prevent the normal function required for the virus to replicate."

Once researchers understand how these channels are selective for acid, they can use that knowledge to fashion novel drugs capable of more effectively killing the virus.

The work is funded by a five-year, multimillion-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health. Other authors on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper are Jun Hu, Riqiang Fu, Katsuyuki Nishimura, Li Zhang and Huan-Xiang Zhou, all of FSU, and Viksita Vijayvergiya, a former postdoctoral fellow at BYU.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Magnet Lab Researchers Deciphering Flu Virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061109153952.htm>.
Florida State University. (2006, November 10). Magnet Lab Researchers Deciphering Flu Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061109153952.htm
Florida State University. "Magnet Lab Researchers Deciphering Flu Virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061109153952.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) — The turtles and Dolphins of Pakistan's Indus river - both protected by law - are in a fight for their survival as man's activities threatens their futures. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

AP (Oct. 2, 2014) — Educators and farmers are clinging to a tradition aimed at giving farmers much-needed help in getting potatoes out of the fields and into storage before the ground freezes in the nation's northeast corner. (Oct. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins