Printer Friendly

Instant virus: just add RNA.

Viruses are such primitive things that many scientists don't consider them alive. They cannot reproduce on their own; instead, they must hijack the reproductive machinery of living cells. Because of this shortcoming, virologists must grow their research subjects in dishes lined with cultured cells.

Now, scientists have devised a cell-free technique for growing tens of thousands of polio viruses at a time. In the Dec. 13 Science, they say the new process will allow insights into the life cycles of many types of viruses and will yield a faster and easier way to screen potential antiviral drugs.

The researchers, led by Akhteruzzaman Molla from he State University of New York at Stony Brook, isolated RNA from polio viruses and added this genetic material to a slurry of human cells that they had previously put through a blender and treated with several chemicals. The mixture yielded intact polio viruses that could go on to infect other cells, they report.

"This is the first time researchers have synthesized infectious viruses in a test tube," Molla asserts. He says his team hopes to use the process to mass-produce other disease-causing viruses.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:ribonucleic acid
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 14, 1991
Previous Article:Patches help smokers quit.
Next Article:Filling and fathoming fullerene molecules.

Related Articles
Enzyme eats self and lives to tell tale.
RNA researchers earn chemistry Nobel.
New and primordial role for ribozymes?
Drugs target RNA to kill tumors ... and block HIV.
For geneticists, interference becomes an asset.
Molecule sparks origin-of-life debate.
Do-it-yourself: virus recreated from synthetic DNA. (Science News This Week).
Human RNA genes counted up. (Biology).
Let there be light. (Biochemistry).
Odd RNA converts stem cells into neurons.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters