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Top Story

Simulations describe HIV’s ‘diabolical delivery device’

From a virus’s point of view, invading our cells is a matter of survival. The virus makes a living by hijacking cellular processes to produce more of the proteins that make it up. From our point of view, the invasion can be a matter of survival too: surviving the virus. To combat viral diseases like HIV-AIDS, Ebola and Zika, scientists need to understand the “life cycle” of the virus and design drugs to interrupt it. But seeing what virus proteins do inside living cells is extremely difficult, even with the most powerful imaging technologies. Now, University of Chicago scientists and their colleagues have developed an innovative computer model of HIV that gives real insight into how a virus “matures” and becomes infective. In doing so, it offers the prospect of developing new anti-viral drugs and greatly extends what has been possible with computer simulations of biological systems.

Visit Website | Image credit: J. M. A. Grime and G. A. Voth, The University of Chicago