Navigation Links
MSU researchers show how new viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly
Date:1/27/2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. In the current issue of Science, researchers at Michigan State University demonstrate how a new virus evolves, which sheds light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous mutations.

The scientists showed for the first time how the virus called "Lambda" evolved to find a new way to attack host cells, an innovation that took four mutations to accomplish. This virus infects bacteria, in particular the common E. coli bacterium. Lambda isn't dangerous to humans, but this research demonstrated how viruses evolve complex and potentially deadly new traits, said Justin Meyer, MSU graduate student, who co-authored the paper with Richard Lenski, MSU Hannah Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.

"We were surprised at first to see Lambda evolve this new function, this ability to attack and enter the cell through a new receptor and it happened so fast," Meyer said. "But when we re-ran the evolution experiment, we saw the same thing happen over and over."

This paper follows recent news that scientists in the United States and the Netherlands produced a deadly version of bird flu. Even though bird flu is a mere five mutations away from becoming transmissible between humans, it's highly unlikely the virus could naturally obtain all of the beneficial mutations all at once. However, it might evolve sequentially, gaining benefits one-by-one, if conditions are favorable at each step, he added.

Through research conducted at BEACON, MSU's National Science Foundation Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Meyer and his colleagues' ability to duplicate the results implied that adaptation by natural selection, or survival of the fittest, had an important role in the virus' evolution.

When the genomes of the adaptable virus were sequenced, they always had four mutations in common. The viruses that didn't evolve the new way of entering cells had some of the four mutations but never all four together, said Meyer, who holds the Barnett Rosenberg Fellowship in MSU's College of Natural Science.

"In other words, natural selection promoted the virus' evolution because the mutations helped them use both their old and new attacks," Meyer said. "The finding raises questions of whether the five bird flu mutations may also have multiple functions, and could they evolve naturally?"


'/>"/>
Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@ur.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Researchers show how viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly
2. Berkeley Lab researchers discover critical rotational motion in cells
3. CU School of Medicine researchers look at effects of 2 common sweeteners on the body
4. Researchers develop gene therapy that could correct a common form of blindness
5. Researchers meet to refine carbon budget for US East Coast
6. Penn researchers help solve questions about Ethiopians high-altitude adaptations
7. Notre Dame researchers report fundamental malaria discovery
8. Researchers find gene critical to sense of smell in fruit fly
9. Native forest birds in unprecedented trouble, according to University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers
10. Researchers discover green pesticide for citrus pests
11. 2-timing and hybrids: RUB researchers look back on 100 million years of evolution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MSU researchers show how new viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly
(Date:12/15/2016)... AUBURN HILLS, Mich. , Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... simply unlocking car doors or starting the engine. Continental ... 2017 in Las Vegas . Through ... PASE (Passive Start and Entry) and biometric elements, the ... the field of vehicle personalization and authentication. ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market ... Application Area, End User, And Region - Global Forecast to 2021", published by ... 2016 to USD 36.07 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016 Valencell , the leading ... has seen a third consecutive year of triple digit ... in 2016 with a 360 percent increase in companies ... increase was driven by sales of its wrist and ... in its technology for hearables for fitness and healthcare ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... NeoTrident, a leading provider of ... performance management systems for high-consequence industries, announced today that they have entered into ... industry, organizations must pay much more attention to the quality of products than ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017  Protagonist Therapeutics, ... that it has initiated a global Phase 2b ... oral peptide that targets alpha4beta7 integrin. The aim ... is to evaluate the safety/tolerability and efficacy of ... with moderate to severe active disease. ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Appellate Court of New Jersey approved ... filed by India-based Dishman Pharmaceutical & Chemical Ltd. company (DPCL) for its motion ... its Dishman Group’s 100% wholly owned New Jersey-based subsidiary Dishman USA located in ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Attagene , a Research Triangle ... Small Business Administration. The Tibbetts Award honors the Small Business Innovation Research ... are considered the best of the best from the thousands of firms that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: