Flu viruses are more flexible than expected - Earth.com

Flu viruses are more flexible than expected


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society (ACS) reveals that proteins on flu viruses are actually flexible, tilting and waving in a “breath-like” motion. According to the experts, these proteins could be used to better defend against the flu.

“The main antigenic targets of influenza virus are two surface glycoproteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Whereas the structural and dynamical properties of both glycoproteins have been studied previously, the understanding of their plasticity in the whole-virion context is fragmented,” wrote the researchers.

To investigate, the team conducted detailed simulations of the influenza A H1N1 virion, or the swine flu. The experts concluded that the visualizations show many new vulnerable states of flu viruses, which could improve future vaccines and antiviral drugs.

Video/ Image Credit: American Chemical Society 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

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