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Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Viral Infection Code

A viral ‘Enigma machine’

February 9, 2015

A code hidden in the arrangement of the genetic information of single-stranded RNA viruses tells the virus how to pack itself within its outer shell of proteins (credit: University of Leeds)
British researchers have cracked a code that governs infections by a major group of viruses including the common cold and polio, which could help prevent diseases.
Until now, scientists had not noticed the code, which had been hidden in plain sight in the sequence of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) that makes up this type of viral genome.
But a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition by a group from the University of Leeds and University of York unlocks its meaning and demonstrates that jamming the code can disrupt virus assembly, preventing disease./.../

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