Friday, 3 January 2014

New imaging technology set to reveal secret life of virus in cells

One of the challenges of unlocking the secret lives of tiny biological agents - like viruses inside living cells - is how to get close up without disturbing their structure and behavior.

Now, using high-end imaging, a team from the US has found a way to label and study the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and its activity in living cells that could become a general method for unlocking the secrets of many important RNA viruses.
With the new approach, the scientists could study how the RSV virion or infective virus particle enters cells, how it replicates, how many genomes it inserts into its hosts, and perhaps discover why some types of lung cells manage to avoid infection.
This new imaging technique brings together multiply-labeled tetravalent RNA imaging probes (MTRIPS) and direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) - to probe the life of RSV in living cells.

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