Yesterday, an article was posted on a biology news site concerning research done on lentiviruses. Lentiviruses are retroviruses that are used as vectors. They are used as vectors to exchange/replace certain genetic material in cells. One issue they were confronted with concerned the target cells with these lentiviruses. How do they minimize the amount of virus cells used, while making sure the viruses attach to target cells alone? Research was done at an institution in Germany concerning these questions, and major developments were made. The scientists at the research institution covered the surface of the viruses with specific glycoproteins fused with an antibody. When facilitated by the glycoproteins, the viruses attached only to the target cells. This, in turn, resolved the second question raised. Because the viruses only attached to the target cells now, the rate of “infection” was much quicker, therefore less lentiviruses were needed. This research has great medical significance. This more efficient procedure can be used in gene therapy now to treat specific genetic disorders!
This is just a brief/quick post about the research being done all around us everyday!