A new handle on proteins with free-radical chemistry

Proteins have a large variety of chemical functional groups, starting with the twenty naturally occurring amino acids that the ribosome strings together into long polypeptide chains. But beyond the genetic code there is another great source of chemical variety, by post-translational modification of the amino acid side chains. These post-translational modifications are a crucial part … More A new handle on proteins with free-radical chemistry

The link between zika virus and microcephaly in a case-controlled study

Doctors in Brazil first started suspecting a possible link between zika virus infection and microcephaly close to one year ago. By mid-November 2015, an infectologist working in the Northeast Region of Brazil, Dr. Kleber Luz, was widely quoted in news outlets about a recent cluster of microcephaly cases. The Brazilian Ministry of Health had just … More The link between zika virus and microcephaly in a case-controlled study

Glycans visible with atomic detail on the spike protein of human coronavirus NL63

There are numerous viruses that cause a common cold, including human coronaviruses such as NL63. Though it is not nearly as dangerous as the coronaviruses that cause MERS and SARS, some infections with NL63 require hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to NL63 infections. The family of coronaviruses owes its name to … More Glycans visible with atomic detail on the spike protein of human coronavirus NL63

These broadly neutralizing antibodies make ebola virus deliver its own drug

A team of researchers led by Jonathan Lai and Kartik Chandran, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, engineered an antibody-based therapeutic that neutralizes infection of a broad range of ebola virus species in cultured human cells and in mice. The study was published online today in the journal Science. The team designed … More These broadly neutralizing antibodies make ebola virus deliver its own drug

The earliest signs of life and viruses on earth – episode 5 of the podcast

I recorded episode 5 of the uncoating podcast. You can listen to it on the podcast page on the website, on soundcloud, iTunes or YouTube. This episode discusses new evidence from Allen Nutman pointing towards the early origin of life on earth, some 3.7 billion years ago. We take the opportunity to discuss what fossil … More The earliest signs of life and viruses on earth – episode 5 of the podcast

Finally a cell culture model for human norovirus infection

A team led by Mary Estes at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, has finally developed a cell culture model to study human norovirus infection. They used a technique pioneered in The Netherlands by the lab of Hans Clevers to grow highly differentiated intestine-like cultures from human stem cells. Until now, norovirus research was … More Finally a cell culture model for human norovirus infection