Navigation Links
Yale biologists 'trick' viruses into extinction

While human changes to the environment cause conservation biologists to worry about species extinction, Yale biologists are reversing the logic by trying to trap viruses in habitats that force their extinction, according to a report in Ecology Letters.

To avoid going extinct a population must not only survive, but also reproduce. Paul Turner, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, tested the practicality of luring a virus population into the wrong cells within the human body, thus preventing virus reproduction and alleviating disease.

"Ecological traps for viruses might arise naturally, or could be engineered by adding viral binding sites to cells that disallow virus reproduction," said senior author Turner. "We proved the concept using a non-human virus, and variants of the bacteria cells it infects."

In ecology, a habitat that supports population growth is termed a "source," whereas a non-supportive habitat is a "sink." This study reported on the success of phi-6 virus populations in environments containing different mixtures of ordinary "source" bacteria and mutant trap cells that act as "sinks."

Their research showed that when the number of trap cells exceeded a key threshold in the mixtures, the virus population could no longer sustain itself and declined toward extinction.

"This approach has intriguing potential for new treatments against human viruses," said Turner. "A similar idea already exists in agriculture, where farmers use non-harvested 'trap crops' to lure insect pests. Because the pests prefer the taste of the trap crops, only these plants need to be sprayed, reducing the amount of pesticide use."

Turner believes that similar trickery might be used against human viruses like HIV. He notes that HIV recognizes the T-cells it infects by CD4 molecules on the cell surf ace, but it then requires functions of the cell nucleus to reproduce. Current anti-HIV therapies are designed to maintain high T-cell counts in the human body, so that the immune system can properly function. But, these drugs therapies are very expensive.

Turner suggests, "A cheaper option is the possibility of engineering trap cells that have CD4 molecules on their surface, but no nucleus for virus reproduction. Mature red blood cells could fill the bill, because they lack a nucleus and could be engineered as sink habitats that greatly outnumber the T-cell source habitats in the body."


'"/>

Source:Yale University


Related biology news :

1. Octopuses occasionally stroll around on two arms, UC Berkeley biologists report
2. GeneNotes - A novel information management software for biologists
3. NYU biologists map out early stages of embryo formation
4. FSU biologists describe key role of signal-transcribing gene during cell cycle
5. High-tech tags on marine animals yield valuable data for biologists and oceanographers
6. UCSD biologists find new evidence for one-way evolution
7. UC San Diego biologists solve plant growth hormone enigma
8. FSU biologists uncover mechanisms that shape cells for better or worse
9. NYU biologists identify gene that coordinates two cellular processes
10. MIT biologists solve vitamin puzzle
11. Brown cancer biologists identify major player in cell growth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/12/2017)... -- Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), a developer ... it has signed agreements with seven strategic partners across ... Middle East for commercialization of the Trovera™ ... of international distribution agreements for Trovagene,s CLIA based liquid ... The initial partners will introduce Trovagene,s liquid biopsy tests ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 6, 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., ... in healthy volunteers of a novel calcium release-activated ... acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis, sudden ... mild disorder, but can be very serious.  In severe ... sepsis, where extended hospital stays, time in the ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... 3, 2017 Onitor, provider of digital health ... Track, an innovative biometric data-driven program designed to aid ... at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in ... the U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO), have identified ... adults who are overweight or obese. WHO also states ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report "In ... Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global ... 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017   Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , today announced a ... Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Talem Technologies (Talem) as ... technology to assist people living with Duchenne. PPMD ... – an embedded computer, software, a force sensor and ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... more E&L expertise. Within Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), the scientific staff dedicated ... year and is planned for further growth in 2017. Extractable & Leachable evaluations ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... Researchers from a new study are ... fall low enough after prostate cancer treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer ... mortality. , “ The PSA test has always been an indicator of whether a man’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: