Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New instrument for analyzing viruses: Sensitive 'PING' device

Date:
March 9, 2011
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Scientists in Israel and California have developed an instrument for rapidly analyzing molecular interactions that take place viruses and the cells they infect. By helping to identify interactions between proteins made by viruses like HIV and hepatitis and proteins made by the human cells these viruses infect, the device may help scientists develop new ways of disrupting these interactions and find new drugs for treating those infections.

Scientists in Israel and California have developed an instrument for rapidly analyzing molecular interactions that take place viruses and the cells they infect. By helping to identify interactions between proteins made by viruses like HIV and hepatitis and proteins made by the human cells these viruses infect, the device may help scientists develop new ways of disrupting these interactions and find new drugs for treating those infections.

According to Doron Gerber, a professor at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, the PING system (Protein Interaction Network Generator) can be used to examine thousands of potential interactions at a time, and it detects them at a sensitivity 100- to 1,000-time greater than current methods. Gerber developed PING with collaborators at Stanford University, and he described the technology at the 55th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting in Baltimore.

When a virus infects a human cell, it hijacks the machinery of that cell, recruiting certain host proteins and subverting them to the task of manufacturing new viral particles. This feature of viral biology has made viral infections notoriously difficult to treat, as therapies must specifically target the virus without harming the cell.

One approach that has been successful is to identify key interactions between viral and host proteins, which can then serve as targets for new drugs. For example, the HIV drug Fuzeon works by blocking a viral protein from attaching to proteins on the surface of immune system cells, barring entry to the cell. Like many antivirals, Fuzeon is used in combination with other drugs in a "cocktail." This is because, like most viruses, HIV mutates rapidly, acquiring resistance to individual drugs. Therefore, the need for new antiviral drugs is constant and ongoing.

Using PING, the Israeli and California scientists identified novel cellular partners for proteins from hepatitis C and hepatitis D. "And we can now use the same system to screen for inhibitors," says Gerber, who adds that new treatments are urgently needed for hepatitis C, for which only one treatment exists that works in only half the patient population.

Because PING employs microfluidics, very small samples can be used; gathering enough material has been a particular challenge with existing methods.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "New instrument for analyzing viruses: Sensitive 'PING' device." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172822.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2011, March 9). New instrument for analyzing viruses: Sensitive 'PING' device. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172822.htm
American Institute of Physics. "New instrument for analyzing viruses: Sensitive 'PING' device." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172822.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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