Breaking News
May 23, 2018 - Prediabetic patients with OSA could lower their resting heart rates by using CPAP
May 23, 2018 - Schizophrenics’ blood samples feature genetic material from more types of microorganisms
May 23, 2018 - Subtle hearing deficits can change the brains of young people
May 23, 2018 - New study shows increased rates of hospitalization for suicide among youths
May 23, 2018 - Proportion of Drug-Intoxicated Organ Donors on the Rise in U.S.
May 23, 2018 - Using virtual biopsies to improve melanoma detection
May 23, 2018 - Compassion meditation training may increase brain’s resilience to suffering of other people
May 23, 2018 - New AAD PSA uses social media imagery to highlight tanning hazards
May 23, 2018 - Medicaid expansion linked to reduction in ICU utilization
May 23, 2018 - Proteins moderating nicotine dependence may help fat cells burn energy
May 23, 2018 - Researchers identify mechanisms that regulate mammary gland development
May 23, 2018 - ‘Low-Alcohol’ Booze Labels May Backfire
May 23, 2018 - New research shows that children with autism are able to create imaginary friends
May 23, 2018 - New technology could make prosthetic use more intuitive and reliable
May 23, 2018 - Researchers develop injectable bandage to stop fatal blood loss, activate wound healing
May 23, 2018 - Exercising for 4-5 days per week is needed to keep the heart young
May 23, 2018 - New study unravels secrets of HIV’s persistence
May 23, 2018 - IDF launches initiative to improve health services for displaced people with diabetes
May 23, 2018 - Maintaining healthy weight between early adulthood and middle age could help avoid diabetes
May 23, 2018 - DNA vaccine shows promise for colorectal cancer
May 23, 2018 - Abnormal brain connections seen in preschoolers with autism
May 23, 2018 - Study finds increase in number of calls to US Poison Control Centers about ADHD medication exposures
May 23, 2018 - Yoghurt before a meal packed with health benefits
May 23, 2018 - New tool predicts the lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s
May 23, 2018 - Scientists reveal mechanisms that may help preterm infants extend nephron development window
May 23, 2018 - Unnecessary antibiotic use for asthma exacerbations linked to increased hospital stays, costs
May 23, 2018 - Quitting cigarettes linked to better lung health than long-term light smoking
May 23, 2018 - Researchers shed light on how androgen deprivation therapy increases risk for cardiovascular mortality
May 23, 2018 - Ingesting blue dye tablet during colonoscopy aids in detecting difficult-to-see polyps
May 23, 2018 - Patients with low-back pain benefit from early physical therapy
May 23, 2018 - Researchers discover link between tuberculosis and Parkinson’s disease
May 23, 2018 - FDA Approves Doptelet (avatrombopag) for Chronic Liver Disease Patients with Thrombocytopenia who are Undergoing a Medical Procedure
May 23, 2018 - Is knee pain linked to depression?
May 23, 2018 - Research team uncovers new information that more accurately explains formation of tumors
May 23, 2018 - Brain stimulation shows promise in treating obesity by reducing food cravings
May 23, 2018 - Mediterranean diet may protect people from negative effects of air pollution
May 23, 2018 - Researcher aims to develop virtual biopsy tool for early melanoma detection
May 23, 2018 - Medical centers more willing to perform lung transplants for severe alcoholic hepatitis patients
May 23, 2018 - The brain may tune to social learning even at rest, finds study
May 23, 2018 - Eczema drug alleviates asthma symptoms and improves lung function
May 23, 2018 - Researchers to test two-pronged approach in humans to treat advanced colorectal cancer
May 23, 2018 - FDA Alert: Juluca, Tivicay, Triumeq (dolutegravir): FDA to Evaluate
May 23, 2018 - Neuroscientists say daily ibuprofen can prevent Alzheimer’s disease
May 23, 2018 - Scientists decipher workings of little-understood bacterial riboswitch
May 23, 2018 - Investigational drug offers hope of relief for celiac disease patients exposed to gluten
May 23, 2018 - PCI along with prescribed drugs better than medication alone for treating for people with heart disease
May 23, 2018 - ToolGen’s CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing platform improves T-cell anti-tumor activity in mouse model
May 22, 2018 - FDA approves new drug to treat thrombocytopenia in adults with chronic liver disease
May 22, 2018 - CSIRO study urges Australians to avoid junk protein foods for healthy weight loss
May 22, 2018 - Breath Test Shows Promise for Diagnosis of Esophagogastric CA
May 22, 2018 - Common class of drugs linked to dementia even when taken 20 years before diagnosis
May 22, 2018 - Optimal Biomarker Frequency for Biosensors
May 22, 2018 - Ethics of conducting clinical research during public health emergencies
May 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Aimovig (erenumab), The First Drug Aimed at Preventing Migraines
May 22, 2018 - Warning labels on alcohol containers highly deficient, new research shows
May 22, 2018 - Doctors publish comprehensive proposal to ensure universal access to safe, affordable medications
May 22, 2018 - When is insurance not really insurance? When you need pricey dental care.
May 22, 2018 - Thyroid tumors may be more susceptible to precisely targeted radiation treatment, suggests study
May 22, 2018 - Researchers uncover clues to early lung transplant failure
May 22, 2018 - Coagulation Factor Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
May 22, 2018 - Booze ads cause risky drinking in young people
May 22, 2018 - Are you and your primary care doc ready to talk about your DNA?
May 22, 2018 - UCI research team uncovers new unexpected mode of neurotransmitter-based communication
May 22, 2018 - Researcher develops nanoparticle-based tags to detect viruses and cancer with high sensitivity
May 22, 2018 - Researchers highlight need for transgender-inclusive healthcare providers
May 22, 2018 - Celgene to share new and updated data around novel hematological therapies
May 22, 2018 - Scientists identify cell types underlying schizophrenia
May 22, 2018 - ACR urges legislative action on access and cost barriers in rheumatologic care
May 22, 2018 - Study examines link between nicotine dependence and likelihood to quit smoking after lung cancer screening
May 22, 2018 - Experts highlight the need to move beyond conventional cost-effectiveness analysis
May 22, 2018 - PanOptica doses first patient in Phase 1/2 dose-ranging clinical trial of PAN-90806
May 22, 2018 - New report highlights danger of childhood drowning in open water
May 22, 2018 - Proposed definition of patient-centeredness and engagement in healthcare
May 22, 2018 - Scientists reveal likely cause of childhood leukaemia
May 22, 2018 - Specific patterns of fat distribution linked to metabolic disease, shows study
May 22, 2018 - Novel drug prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated deep space radiation
May 22, 2018 - New LIVE scoring tool effectively predicts future risk of hospitalization for COPD patients
May 22, 2018 - Most people with preclinical signs of Alzheimer’s disease may not develop dementia
May 22, 2018 - Fetal MRI can accurately identify holoprosencephaly by 18 weeks of gestation
May 22, 2018 - Multidisciplinary clinic can provide quality care for low-income patients with lung conditions
High-tech microscope reveals how cancer-causing virus anchors itself to human DNA

High-tech microscope reveals how cancer-causing virus anchors itself to human DNA

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Using a homemade, high-tech microscope, scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have revealed how a cancer-causing virus anchors itself to our DNA. That discovery could pave the way for doctors to cure incurable diseases by flushing out viruses, including HPV and Epstein-Barr, that now permanently embed themselves in our cells.

“The reason we can’t get rid of these [viruses] is because we can’t figure out a way to get their DNA out of the nucleus, out of the cell,” explained UVA researcher Dean H. Kedes, MD, PhD. “They depend on this ‘tether’ to remain anchored to the DNA within our cells, and to remain attached even as the cells divide. This tether is a key factor to disrupt in devising a cure.”

Now that scientists can understand this vital infrastructure, they can work to disassemble it. “Without it,” Kedes noted, “the virus is going to lose its hold in the body. … Bad for the virus, but very good for the patient.”

Homemade Microscope

The researchers used the microscope built by fellow investigator M. Mitchell Smith, PhD, to reveal the structure of the tether used by a virus called Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Until now, such tethers have largely eluded scientists because they are so diabolically small, defying even the most high-tech approaches to determining their form. “We’re seeing things on the order of 8,000 times smaller than a human hair,” said Smith, who built UVA’s microscope piece-by-piece based on one pioneered in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Maine.

Smith’s microscope is nothing like the simple light microscope seen in every high school biology class. It’s a stunning marriage of stainless steel and laser beams, looking much like an oversized sci-fi Erector set. It sits on a table that almost fills a small room.

“It’s a set of lasers, a bunch of optics that focus and filter the lasers,” Smith explained, gesturing to various components. “I’m trained as a molecular geneticist, not as an optical physicist … so we worked on it for maybe three years. But it’s continually a work in progress.”

The device has already proved a game-changer, allowing him and Kedes to unveil the viral tether. The researchers – in UVA’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology – used fluorescent antibodies to mark individual molecules on the tether and then recorded their location in space. They then combined the resulting images to create an outline of the shape, a bit like mapping a city from thousands of GPS signals.

To complete their 3D portrait, they combined their results with information drawn from other imaging techniques, such as X-ray crystallography. The result is the most complete portrait of the tether ever created. And that information likely will prove vital for cutting the rope on the virus’ grappling hook.

The researchers envision using the approach for many other stubborn viruses, such as Epstein-Barr (the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis) and HPV (human papillomavirus). Further, they suspect that such viruses’ tethers may share similarities with the one they revealed. “Now, for the first time,” Kedes said, “it’s OK to say, ‘Let’s focus on structures that are vital to the virus that before were below the limits of our standard methods of detection within infected cells.'”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles