• Stomach of a Fruit Fly Infected by the Nora Virus


    May, 2016

    Nanowerk News) Researchers at Umeå University have developed a new method to directly follow viral infections in living organisms. This method can make infected cells produce fluorescent proteins, which means that they light up and become easier to identify. The method, which is described in the journal Scientific Reports (“A Novel Strategy for Live Detection of Viral Infection in Drosophila melanogaster”), also makes it possible to activate other functions in infected cells, for instance to enhance the immune system.

    The stomach of a fruit fly infected by the Nora virus. Cell nuclei of virus infected cells are illuminated in red with the use of the new method. Cell nuclei of uninfected cells are blue and muscle cells in green. (Image: Jens-Ola Ekström)”When a virus multiplies, it produces so-called proteases, which is a type of enzyme needed for the virus to cleave viral proteins into big enough chunks necessary to build new virus particles,” says Dan Hultmark, researcher at the Department of Molecular Biology and one of the researchers behind the study.

    “Using genetic tricks, we are encouraging the virus enzyme into activating other functions in the cell instead.”With the use of this method, described in an article published today in Scientific Reports, it is possible to make virus-infected cells produce just about any protein desired. In this way, the researchers have made the infected cells produce a fluorescent protein that is easy to spot in a microscope.”The method enables us to manipulate cells into producing proteins that are suspected to be involved in the immune system. That’s why this method can be used to study in detail exactly what proteins are important for the immune system against viruses,” says Jens-Ola Ekström, another researcher behind the discovery.

    In order to better understand how viruses and cell proteins collaborate or counteract each other, the research team has studied the Nora virus in fruit flies. The Nora virus is a harmless intestinal virus that only affects fruit flies. But the virus is closely related to picornaviruses, which in humans cause diseases such as polio, intestinal infections, jaundice, eye infections and regular colds. In cattle, some picornaviruses cause foot-and-mouth disease. Knowledge of picornaviruses is therefore of great importance both to health and economy. (The Nora virus should not be confused with the Norovirus, which causes winter vomiting disease in humans.)

    “The fruit fly is a well-known model organism used to understand human biology as it, like all other living organisms, has to fend off various viral infections. Even if the method is developed for fruit flies, it can most likely be adopted to other model systems,” says Jens-Ola Ekström.


    Source: Umea University

    Read more: Luminous proteins offer new method to discover viral infections


    No comments

    Be the first one to leave a comment.

    Post a Comment



    Latest Posts

    Latest Video



    Chinese company Jala Group using 3D printed skin to test cosmetics for Asian market

    SOURCE Jala Group, a Chinese cosmetics company, has used 3D bioprinting technology to print artificial “Asian skin,” complete with dermis and…

    Historic HIV vaccine efficacy study underway in South Africa

    The first HIV vaccine efficacy study to launch anywhere in 7 years is testing whether an experimental vaccine safely prevents…

    When Pot Meets Pain and Insomnia: Why Many Fibromyalgia Patients Swear by Medical Marijuana

      Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that over three million Americans suffer from. It causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness…

    Nanoarray sniffs out and distinguishes multiple diseases

    SOURCE “Diagnosis and Classification of 17 Diseases from 1404 Subjects via Pattern Analysis of Exhaled Molecules” ACS Nano Before modern…

    Cardiac stem cell infusion could be effective therapy for the most common type of heart failure

    SOURCE Cardiac stem cells could be an effective treatment for a common but difficult-to-treat type of heart failure, a new…

    Outer layer of human heart regrown using stem cells

    Human stem cells have been used to regenerate the cells that cover the external surface of a human heart(Credit: DarioStudios/Depositphotos) SOURCE…

    Gastrogenomic delights: A movable feast

    SOURCE The complete genome sequences of Escherichia coli and Helicobacter pylori provide insights into the biology of these species Recently,…

    Glaucoma gene therapy on positive trajectory using CRISPR-Cas9

    SOURCE May 02, 2016 Seattle—Results from a series of preclinical studies are providing proof of principle that gene targeting using…