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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Virus Turned Into a Deadly Form?

Researchers at Michigan State University, United States, finding the cause of an emerging virus and turned into a deadly form. The findings appear in the latest issue of the journal Science.
“We were surprised at first to see Lambda evolve this ability to attack and enter the cell through a new receptor—and it happened so fast,” says Justin Meyer, right, with Devin Dobias. ““But when we re-ran the evolution experiment, we saw the same thing happen over and over.” (Picture from: http://www.futurity.org/)

They show how a virus called "lambda" is evolving to find new ways to attack the host cells. The virus takes four times as many mutations to achieve the desired shape.
Ribbon diagram of the OmpF protein, Lambda's new pathway into E. coli. (Picture from: http://nanopatentsandinnovations.blogspot.com/)

Lambda virus was not dangerous to humans because it only infects bacteria, particularly the type of E. coli. However, this study shows the development of new properties of lambda virus complex and potentially deadly.

In his research, Michigan State University graduate student, Justin Meyer, joint professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, Richard Lenski, admitted it was surprised by the findings.
Justin Meyer, an MSU graduate student, led a team of researchers, that showed how new viruses evolve. (Picture from: http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/)

"We were surprised to see lambda evolve with new functions, namely the ability to attack and entry into host cells via new receptors. And it happened so fast," said Meyer. When re-running evolution experiment, Meyer said, we see similar things happening again and again.

This study follows the recent news about the efforts of U.S. and Dutch scientists who produce versions of deadly bird flu virus (H5N1).

Although currently still in the five stages of mutation of human infectious form, is not impossible that the bird flu virus can change naturally into a form lethal mutations in a single stage.

"But the virus is likely to evolve rather sequentially. Obtain one by one form of benefit if the conditions allow," Meyer added.

Through research conducted at the Beacon, MSU's National Science Foundation Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Meyer and his colleagues play an important role in the study of viral evolution. *** [SCIENCE DAILY | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 3380]
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