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A Novel Twist on Virus DNA

Protein knot may unravel how virus locks onto host
A novel twist of DNA (shown in red) may keep viral genes tightly wound within a capsule, waiting for ejection into a host. Using expertise in numerically intensive and parallel computing from the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, university researchers were able to determine the structure of a bacterial virus called phi29 and the viral DNA within it. The image - with a resolution of better than a nanometer, or a millionth of a millimeter - reveals details never seen before, and will help unravel how the virus locks onto its host and infects the cells by injecting its DNA. The research was reported in the June issue of the journal Structure.
Credit: Jinghua Tang, UC San Diego
Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

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Additional info:Scientists Discover DNA Knot Keeps Viral Genes Tightly Corked Inside Shell

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