Virology Weekly Newsletter 22.02.2013 – Virus Replication

Principles of molecular virology Students taking my virology course at the University of Leicester get a weekly newsletter containing extra links relevant to the lectures. This week we have been looking at virus genomes and the class notes are from Principles of Molecular Virology, chapter 4.
This week we’re also going to catch up on some new developments in research relevant to earlier weeks on the course:



The EBV Epigenome Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) affects more than 90 percent of the population worldwide and was the first human virus found to be associated with cancer. Nearly 30 years ago it was found that EBV attachment to B cells occurs via CD21. Researchers have just discovered a second B-cell attachment receptor for EBV, CD35. Human Complement Receptor Type 1/CD35 Is an Epstein-Barr Virus Receptor. (2013) Cell Reports, 3 (2): 371 doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.01.023



Mus musculus This paper goes back to a topic we discussed in the first tutorial, the ethical issues surrounding the use of animals in biomedical research: Whole Animal Experiments Should Be More Like Human Randomized Controlled Trials. (2013) PLoS Biol 11(2): e1001481 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001481
“The reporting of human randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was improved significantly by the introduction of the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement in 1996. CONSORT also led to improvements in the overall quality of human RCTs, benefitting trial design, accounting of subjects, and rigour of data analysis. Whilst human RCTs and whole animal studies may have different objectives (e.g. defining mechanisms versus demonstrating clinical efficacy), the fundamental requirements for generating reliable and unbiased data are very similar, and thus standards of reporting should also be similar.”



Rotavirus particles When we talked about virus structure, we looked at cryo electron microscopy. Improved electron detectors and image-processing techniques will allow the structures of macromolecules to be determined from tens of thousands of single-particle cryo-EM images, rather than the hundreds of thousands needed previously:
Direct detection pays off for electron cryo-microscopy. eLife 2013; 2: e00573


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