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UW scientists unravel critical genetic puzzle for flu virus replication

engineer viruses that can be used to mass produce vaccines. Researchers have been trying to make viral vectors using nine genetic segments, a strategy that has never worked, Kawaoka notes.

"To develop an influenza virus vector, we have to stick to this eight-segment concept," he says.

Such a strategy may be useful for developing vaccines for a range of diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, Kawaoka adds.

The new work, according to Kawaoka, benefited from a critical observation made possible by the dissection of the virus and its virions. The virus particles, when observed as a cross section, always displayed the circle of seven RNA fragments surrounding another segment pattern.

"No one has identified this before, perhaps because no one has ever tried to make serial sections of the virus."


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Source:University of Wisconsin-Madison


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