More biology articles in the 'Microbiology' category

Want to make a virus? It's easy: combine one molecule of genomic nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, and a handful of proteins, shake, and in a fraction of a second you'll have a fully-formed virus.

While that may sound like the worst infomercial ever, in many cases making a virus really is that simple. Viruses such as influenza spread so effectively, and as a result can be so deadly to their hosts, because of their ability to spontaneously self-assemble in large numbers.

If researchers can understand how viruses assemble, they may be able to design drugs that prevent viruses from forming in the first place. Unfortunately, how exactly viruses self-assemble has long remained a mystery because it happens very quickly and at such small length-scales.

Now, there is a system to track nanometer-sized viruses at sub-millisecond time scales. The method, developed by researchers at the Harvard John PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"

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