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Tumor suppressor genes : In the early s, Klein, and collaborator Henry Harris, played a pioneering role in developing the concept of tumor suppressor genes. They found that when highly malignant mouse cells are fused with normal mouse cells, the hybrid cells are non-malignant when inoculated into genetically compatible mice. That is, tumorgenicity is suppressed by fusion with normal cells. However, tumorgenicity reappears after some apparently important chromosomes, contributed by the normal cell, are lost from the hybrid cells.

In the s and s, two French biologists at the Pasteur Institute, Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod, explained how genes are regulated in bacteria. Jacob and Monod shared in the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for their breakthrough studies on gene regulation. Fellow Pasteur Institute scientist, Andre Lwoff, received a share of the award for his pioneering studies on the nature of lysogeny i. In , evolutionary biologist Sean B. Coming from very different intellectual backgrounds, Monod and Camus forged a deep friendship, united in their opposition to tyranny and oppression.

When Albert Camus learned that he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in October , he wrote to a few well-wishers, including an old friend in Paris:. I have put aside for a while the noise of these recent times in order to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm letter. The unexpected prize has left me with more doubt than certainty. At least I have friendship to help me face it. I, who feel solidarity with many men, feel friendship with only a few. You are one of these, my dear Monod, with a constancy and sincerity that I must tell you at least once. Our work, our busy lives separate us , but we are reunited again, in one same adventure.

That does not prevent us to reunite, from time to time, at least for a drink of friendship! See you soon and fraternally yours. Albert Camus. Camus appears somewhat downcast in his note to Monod. At years-in-age, he was the second youngest writer ever to receive the Nobel Prize for literature Rudyard Kipling at 42 was the youngest , and he was worried that the ballyhoo surrounding the award might distract him from his writing. And, he was concerned that the prize might stir up additional contempt from critics of his writing, as well as from his leftist colleagues who opposed his condemnation of Soviet communism.

A brief background to our tale is as follows. In March , Hitler took control of Czechoslovakia. Next, on September 1, Germany invaded Poland. Although Germany went on to conquer Poland in a mere eight days, several months passed without further action. Then, in May , Nazi Germany invaded and overran France in just six weeks. A few months before the Nazis invaded France, thirty-year old Jacques Monod was a doctoral student in zoology at the Sorbonne. Consequently, Monod was serving on the front lines when the Germans invaded.

France suffered the most colossal military disaster in its history, and Monod returned to his studies in Paris. Life in France grew progressively harsher under the Nazis; beginning with subjugation, and followed by deportations, enslavement, and mass murder. This seemingly simple task was extremely dangerous since capture could mean deportation to a concentration camp or execution.

Monod, in fact, had several close escapes. On one occasion, the Gestapo raided his laboratory at the Sorbonne. Otherwise, they might have found sensitive documents that Monod would hide inside the leg of a mounted giraffe outside his office. Meanwhile, Jacques had to register with the Vichy authorities as the spouse of a Jewish person. Monod was not then a Communist Party member. Nonetheless, he joined the Franc-Tireurs since they actually were fighting the Germans—assassinating German officers in the streets and carrying out sabotage.

One of his missions for the Franc-Tireurs took him to Geneva—through the Alps to avoid arrest—to request money for arms from the United States Office of Strategic Services; the precursor of the present Central Intelligence Agency. By this time, Monod had gone completely underground. He wore a disguise during the day, slept in safe houses at night, and stayed away from his laboratory at the Sorbonne. But then, Andre Lwoff, the head of microbial physiology at the Pasteur Institute, offered Monod a refuge and a place to work in his laboratory at the Pasteur Institute.

Monod then led a double-life. By day, as Monod, he worked on his experiments at the Pasteur Institute. Monod was resolutely committed to the Resistance, while also maintaining a productive research program. At the Pasteur Institute, he and his student, Alice Audureau, made key discoveries that would lead to the later breakthroughs he would make with Jacob. Monod took on increasing responsibilities in the Franc-Tireurs , as more members of the group were discovered and executed by the Germans. In fact, by the time of the allied invasion of Normandy in June , Monod, had become chief of staff of the operations bureau for the National Resistance Organization; a position from which his three predecessors had disappeared 4.

As such, Monod prepared battle plans for the allied surge to Paris. He also arranged parachute drops of weapons, railroad bombings, and mail interceptions. In addition, Monod organized the general strike that facilitated the liberation of Paris. In , the couple was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their seminal research on radioactivity. Nevertheless, he managed to smuggle his research notes out of France to England. Francois Jacob, a Jewish, nineteen-year old 2 nd -year medical student, was planning on a career in surgery when the German occupation of France began in the Spring of Resolved to carry on the fight against Hitler, Jacob left medical school and boarded one of the last boats for England.

He wanted to enroll in a combat unit, but, despite his incomplete medical training, he was commissioned as a medical doctor, and then served as a medical officer in North Africa. His surgical career was prematurely cut short in August , when he was severely wounded at Normandy; by a bomb dropped from a German Stuka dive bomber.

At the time, he was tending to a dying officer. Unable to practice surgery after the war because of his wartime wounds, Jacob eventually turned to a career in science. Lwoff rebuffed Jacob several times, but finally agreed to take the young doctor under his wing.

After that, Jacob and Monod forged their extraordinary collaboration that would lead to their Nobel Prizes. In , he escaped from the Nazis in Paris and then worked underground in the Resistance as a physician. His parents, Eugene and Elizabeth Wollman, were Pasteur Institute scientists who were seized by the Nazis in and sent to Auschwitz. They were never heard from again 3. In December of , our other main protagonist, twenty-six-year-old Albert Camus, was an unknown, aspiring writer, working as a reporter and editor for a newly founded left-wing newspaper, Alger Republican , in his native Algeria; which was then under French control.

The government finally shut down the newspaper, leaving Camus unemployed. So, Camus returned to France, where the prospects for employment were now better because wartime mobilizations had left many businesses shorthanded. See Aside 3. Camus was not called up for military service when he returned to France, because he had contracted tuberculosis in Algeria, when he was 17 Aside 4. Nonetheless, he twice attempted to enlist—the second time when the French Army was on the verge of surrender to the Nazis—to express his solidarity with those who were being drafted.

In any case, the military rejected him each time because of his tuberculosis. So, he managed to get a job in Paris as a layout designer for the newspaper Paris-Soir. Parisians began fleeing from their city when the German invasion began in May of All Parisian newspapers stopped publishing. However, Paris-Soir hoped to resume its operations in the south, with a reduced staff. After Camus and his passenger were well on their way, Camus suddenly realized that in the rush to vacate from Paris, he may have left his manuscript for The Stranger behind in his room. In despair over the fall of France, and wrongly believing that German bombs killed his family after he sent them away, he went to his apartment, closed the windows, and turned on the gas in his stove 5, 6.

Camus went with Paris-Soir to Clermont-Ferrand. There, the paper began to publish again, using printing facilities made available by Pierre Laval, the former premier, and now architect of the Petain Vichy government. Camus did not write any of these items.

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In any case, he was let go by Paris-Soir after the draftees of the s were discharged and could return to work. Camus then went back to Algeria, where he completed The Stranger. In , with The Stranger about to be published in France, Camus suffered a nearly fatal relapse of his tuberculosis. He wanted to return to France for treatment in the Massif Central mountain range, but several months would pass before Algerian authorities gave him permission to do so.

Then, upon returning to Paris, he would have a purpose that would totally engage him. By the time The Stranger was published in , his recognition as Camus led to his acceptance into the literary and artistic circle that included Sartre, Simone de Beauvier, and Picasso. Camus was suffering from recurrent bouts of tuberculosis all the while that he was carrying out his work at Combat. Nonetheless, as Camus, he also published his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus , which, like The Stranger , contemplates the experience of the Absurd see Aside 3, above.

Remarkably, no one at Combat had an inkling that the man who at first had been editing and arranging pages for them as Bauchard was in fact the now renowned Camus. See Aside 6. With the discovery by Watson and Crick of the molecular structure of DNA, it was apparent how accidental, random, unpredictable mutations in the sequence of bases in DNA were the source of all biological diversity. Neither his destiny nor his duty have been written down.

The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose. In The Myth of Sisyphus , he wrote that Sisyphus gave his life meaning by choosing to believe that he remained the master of his own fate, even though he was condemned to rolling his rock uphill each day, only to have it roll back down. On the opening page of Chance and Necessity , Monod includes a lengthy quotation from the closing paragraphs of The Myth of Sisyphus. For Monod, life is like Sisyphus, pushing its rock uphill. By , the liberation of Paris was imminent, Combat went from a monthly publication to a daily one, and the paper chanced to circulate in the open.

Camus was still writing his editorials anonymously. And when his identity was finally revealed, his inspiring, eloquent words resulted in his widespread public acclaim. Monod and Camus were very likely aware of each other at this point in our saga, but they had not yet met. Their meeting would happen after the liberation of France, and it would be in response to a new totalitarian threat; from the Soviet Union. It transpired as follows.

In , Monod was working full-time on his research at the Pasteur Institute, when events in the Soviet Union moved him to write a stirring editorial that appeared on the front page of Combat. Stalin embraced Lysenkoism—during an acute grain shortage in Russia—since it was in accord with his ideology to create the New Soviet Man. Consequently, traditional Russian geneticists were exiled or murdered, Mendelian genetics was no longer practiced in the Soviet Union, and Soviet agriculture suffered severely. In Contrast, Lysenkoism is true because it is progressive and proletarian.

See Aside 7. When E. Only then, they turn to metabolizing lactose.

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Instead, the genes encoding the enzymes that metabolize lactose lie dormant until lactose induces them, under conditions in which glucose is not available. That is, Jacob and Monod determined that lactose regulates lactose metabolism in the cell by acting as an inducer of genes that already exist in the cell; as opposed to lactose causing the cell to undergo a Lamarckian acquisition of a genetic characteristic. In so doing, Jacob and Monod created the now well-established paradigm of inducers, regulators, regulator genes, and operators. While Monod was crusading against Lysenkoism, Camus was having his own feud, in public, with Sartre, who had chastised him for his anti-Soviet stance.

Camus had once been a Communist, in Algeria, mainly because he was troubled by the way in which the European French treated the native Algerians.


However, he was never very sympathetic to the Marxist cause. Monod too had once been a member of the Communist Party; but only because it enabled him to have a voice in the running of the Resistance. Our two main protagonists finally met when Camus co-founded the anti-Stalin, anti-totalitarian Groupes de Liaison Internationale. There, he, and Camus, discovering that they shared much in common, forged their friendship. Likewise, Camus learned from Monod.

In any event, after Camus and Monod had separately fought the Nazis, they were now united against another oppressor—the totalitarian state run by Stalin. He and Sartre never spoke to each other again. Monod was also troubled by the situation of scientists working under Eastern European Soviet regimes. In , he organized the escape into Austria of Hungarian biochemist Agnes Ullman who participated in the failed Hungarian uprising of , and her husband, also a scientist. Earlier, in , Agnes Ullman managed to visit Monod at the Pasteur Institute, and confided to him that she and her husband wanted to defect from Hungary.

Monod maintained contact with the Ullmans in Hungary, using coded messages, written in invisible ink, which turned blue when exposed to iodine. The Ullmans finally crossed into Austria, hidden underneath a bathtub, in a compartment of a pull-along camping trailer.

The Problem

See Aside 8. Now retired, she was carrying out research at the Pasteur Institute as recently as ; 53 years after her rescue from Hungary. There are numerous other instances in which Monod stepped forward to fight injustice and defend human rights. Monod also condemned the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union, while continuing to speak out against Soviet totalitarianism in general. And, in , shortly after Monod, Lwoff, and Jacob received word of their Nobel Prizes, they publicly appealed to the French government to allow the use of contraceptives, and the legalization of abortion.

See Aside 9. He chaired a committee of the French Academy of Sciences that supported persecuted scientists living under totalitarian regimes, and he worked for the release of those who had been imprisoned for their political views. Moreover, he forcefully advocated for the public support of the biological and medical sciences. See reference 8 for more on Jacob. In , Martin Luther King Jr. Belafonte was introduced by French singer and actor Yves Montand 9. The intellectual lives of Monod and Camus played out in entirely different areas. Yet the parallels were striking.

Each, in his way, searched for meaning in life. Moreover, each put his life on the line to oppose ignorance, injustice, and totalitarianism. And, it is clear from their correspondences that they were dear to each other. My emotion and my joy are profound. There were many times when I felt like thanking you for your friendship, for what you are, for what you managed to express with such purity and strength, and that I had likewise experienced.

I wish that this dazzling honor would also appear to you, in some small part, as a token of friendship and of personal, intimate recognition. I would not dare coming to see you right now, but I embrace you fraternally. This piece ends with a few personal thoughts. Jacques Monod was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, a hero of the French Resistance, a rescuer of persecuted scientists from behind the Iron Curtain, and a leading voice against tyranny and oppression.

And, he was also blessed with dashing good looks. I remember well the women among my fellow graduate students in the s finding him to be very attractive. Meanwhile, it is especially important for young scientists, and the public, to be aware of the examples set by these men. See Aside They seek to import the alternative facts and misleading rhetoric of the new federal government and to impose it on children who deserve much better from those elected to serve them.

As Trump does when rejecting the findings of climate scientists, he similarly misrepresents and ignores the vast amount of scientific evidence that confirms the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Many biomedical scientists now feel an urgent need to speak out against vaccine non-compliance. Yet others argue that scientists hurt the cause when they take political sides. Nonetheless, science is founded on honesty and rigor. And, if scientists do not speak out when their findings are distorted or ignored by politicians who put forward policies that harm the public, who else will?

So, our concern here is to consider how we might effectively engage not only anti-vaxxers, but science denialists in general. It is important that we consider this, since we have not been especially effective in the past at curtailing science denialism e. A key prerequisite for effective communication is that each party listen to, and acknowledge the others point of view. This may be difficult to accomplish with science denialists under any circumstance. But it is most difficult in public discussions, where a group of committed denialists is unlikely to allow the free and open discussion that is essential.

Even if you should happen to get your points out, hard-core denialists in the audience will probably not consider them see Asides 2 and 3. So, in front of a group, address your remarks to the skeptical and undecided members of your audience, rather than to the stanch denialists. Your chance of influencing undecided or skeptical individuals is much greater in a one-on-one discussion. But whether before a group, or in a one-on-one discussion, your major asset and advantage is that the scientific consensus supports your position.

Focus on the evidence. The reason is the same as that which makes religious and political zealots immovable. In brief, Maimonides argued that the bible should not be taken literally but, instead, should be read metaphorically. Then, it could be entirely consistent with the truths arrived at through science and reason. Yet, Maimonides realized that most people did read the bible literally, and that to challenge their traditional point of view would be equivalent to challenging their faith itself.

Thus, he realized that his arguments would be listened to by only a small group of the most open-minded readers. University of Sussex social anthropologist, Melissa Leach, suggests that scientists need to be more empathetic to the personal and cultural beliefs that cause people to reject scientific evidence 3. To that point, scientists need to listen to and understand the reasons why denialists seek alternatives to science, before they might be heard in turn.

And scientists must be careful not to imply to science deniers that they are ignorant or irrational see Aside 4. If you are perceived as an advocate for a policy, you may lose trust as an unbiased knowledge broker. So, stick to the evidence. Patiently and clearly connect the dots. For instance, the movement to forgo vaccinations has become popular in some more liberal and affluent communities; the organic grocery demographic.

Also, consider the example of conservative columnist George Will; an obviously well-educated and sophisticated individual, who nonetheless steadfastly maintains that since climate change happened naturally in the past, we cannot know that human-caused carbon pollution will cause harmful climate changes in the future. George Will also is not moved by the fact that there is a consensus among climate scientists—based on the accumulation of massive evidence—that human-caused carbon emissions are changing the climate.

Climate scientists are now as certain of that conclusion as biomedical scientists are that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. Better communication with science denialists is not easy for reasons noted above. And there still will be vociferous politicians, who will continue to misrepresent and ignore science, to advance their own agendas. Are organized marches an effective way to promote a pro-science agenda? Some scientists say that the march might be counterproductive.

The Canadian march did not diminish the credibility of the participants, nor did it lead to polarization of the public.

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So, one might hope that an American march might have a positive effect here, even if only to stem the tide of misinformation being fed to the American public. In the U. He also requested emails of those meetings. Openness is as vital to science as it is to democracy. We cannot allow hard-won knowledge to be ignored or distorted 5. Arno Motulsky in his Seattle apartment in The German liner St.

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Louis being denied entrance to Havana, Cuba, in June Motulsky was aboard the ship with his mother and siblings when it was sent back to Europe. Credit Associated Press But the St. Times, January 29, Motulsky, A. Like this: Like Loading References: Blobel, G. Blobel, G.

Transfer of proteins across membranes. Presence of proteolytically processed and unprocessed nascent immunoglobulin light chains on membrane-bound ribosomes of murine myeloma. J Cell Biol , Bonatti, S. Cancedda, and G. Blobel Membrane biogenesis. In vitro cleavage, core glycosylation, and integration into microsomal membranes of sindbis virus glycoproteins.

DOI: Nobel Media AB Fauci 1 Participants agreed that a robust collaboration between government agencies, academia, and industry would be needed to translate the fruits of basic research into a universal influenza vaccine. Paules C. Marston, R. Eisinger, D. Baltimore, and A. Immunity Jonas Salk and Julius Youngner at the University of Pittsburgh, early s Salk hoped that Youngner might find a way to generate enough cells from monkey kidney tissue to support mass-production of the vaccine.

Julius Youngner, References: Salk, J. S, Ward, E. Williams, G. Oshinsky, D. References: George Klein. Pieta, MIT Press, George Klein and Eva Klein. Albert Camus Camus appears somewhat downcast in his note to Monod. All of the information on the card — birthdate, place, parents — is false. My dear Camus, My emotion and my joy are profound. Jacques Monod This piece ends with a few personal thoughts. Sean B. Dufour, H. Carroll, History: Great myths die hard , Nature 32—33, Beckwith , J.

Remembering Dr. Melissa Leach, Accommodating dissent , Nature , p, 22 November , doi The text of the letter, and its signatories, can be accessed from: The week in science: 10—16 February Nature , 16 February doi But that line is already much fuzzier than some try to argue. It is possible to care about science and scientific thinking while ignoring the political context in which it operates.

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But it is difficult to do that and demand change at the same time. VDU's blog. Science Life. However, influenza viruses can and do develop resistance to these drugs - as one of the main circulating seasonal viruses did during a recent flu season - so that the drugs can no longer be used to treat or prevent infections.

There is a need to develop additional drugs that can prevent or alleviate flu symptoms. However, as was strikingly obvious during the H1N1 pandemic, vaccine production takes many months. By the time a vaccine was developed, tested, produced, and distributed, many individuals had already been infected.

Clearly, a more rapid method of vaccine development is needed. The greatest fear is that a new pandemic influenza virus could emerge that could pass from person to person as easily as the H1N1 virus, but be as deadly as the H5N1 virus. Additional concerns are that an influenza virus could mutate into a form that would be resistant to anti-influenza drugs, such as Tamiflu, or that the virus could change so that a vaccine no longer afforded protection. Even though the H1N1 pandemic was relatively mild, knowing how lethal and unpredictable influenza viruses can be, we must continue to remain alert and prepare for future pandemics.

Investigators in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology MVM have been studying influenza for several decades, with an Influenza Research Center first established in A major focus of the work is directed towards the development and testing of influenza vaccines to find the most effective vaccination dosages, methods, and strategies to protect the population against this deadly disease. Other projects involve studying the structure and function of important influenza proteins.

Research is ongoing on both epidemic influenza also referred to as seasonal or interpandemic influenza and pandemic influenza. Epidemic influenza occurs annually and is attributable to minor changes in genes that encode proteins on the surface of circulating influenza viruses. Pandemic influenza occurs when more significant changes in the influenza A virus arise as a result of the acquisition of genes from influenza viruses of other animal species by a human virus strain, thus creating a novel virus. The latter carries a greater risk for the human population.

It was previously led by Dr. Hana El-Sahly. An important strength of this established network is that it is able to efficiently and safely test new vaccines within a rapid time frame. The VTEU research group in the department has been involved in important studies that led to the licensure of live attenuated and high dose inactivated influenza virus vaccines. They have tested vaccines to seasonal influenza and they have performed many studies evaluating vaccines targeting pandemic influenza, including the swine-origin H1N1, and the H5N1, H9N2, and H7N9 viruses, among others.

They have evaluated methods to improve vaccine immunogenicity, including delivery of vaccine by different routes of administration, different dosages, and with different adjuvant preparations. Researchers involved in these studies include Drs. MVM investigators would like to better understand epidemic influenza seasonal flu infections, disease, and vaccines with the goal of developing ways to better control these epidemics.

Towards this goal, they are working on developing new improved vaccines against epidemic influenza strains and are trying to understand how the immune systems of different people respond to the influenza virus and influenza vaccines. Because pregnant women are at higher risk for serious complications from the flu, it is important to develop strategies to protect these women from seasonal and pandemic influenza. Shital Patel. Evaluating the safety of seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine will yield vital information in anticipation of the need to test novel vaccines against possible future pandemic strains, in pregnant women.

Scientists are also conducting a study in collaboration with Kelsey-Seybold Clinics to determine the effectiveness of an inactivated influenza vaccine in protecting pregnant women and whether these immunized women can pass immunity against influenza to their infants, so that newborns would be protected from influenza during their first few months of life.

Another approach to protect against influenza epidemics is called herd immunity. The idea is to vaccinate a large percentage of school-age children to limit the spread of influenza without needing to vaccinate a larger percentage of the general population. The reasoning behind this idea is that school-age children are often the source of infection and pass the virus onto their friends, teachers, and family members.

This might be especially helpful to the elderly population who are at higher risk from influenza-related complications and whose immune systems may not mount as effective a response to influenza as younger individuals. Another advantage to this approach is that it might be possible to achieve high community protection from influenza with a limiting amount of vaccine. Pedro Tony Piedra and colleagues are testing herd immunization in school-aged children in central Texas. Piedra and co-workers want to know how many children need to be vaccinated in order to protect the adult population from influenza infection, and they would like to use this approach to control the spread of epidemic influenza.

They also hope to use this approach as a model for combating pandemic influenza and bioterrorism. Piedra has also investigated the effects of oseltamivir commonly known as Tamiflu on influenza-related complications in children with chronic medical conditions. Patients with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of complications from both seasonal and pandemic flu.

Piedra and his colleagues found that children with chronic medical conditions benefit from the use of Tamiflu if it is prescribed early in the disease process. Children and adolescents between the ages of 1 and 17 who were at high risk of influenza complications showed significant reductions in the risks of respiratory illnesses other than pneumonia, reduced risk of otitis media a middle ear infection , and fewer hospitalizations in the 14 days after influenza diagnosis.

The most effective way to prevent the widespread infection and high mortality rate that a new influenza virus could inflict upon the human population would be to vaccinate people, so that the human immune system would be prepared to fight off an infection. MVM investigators are trying to identify the best way to prime the human immune system to defend against flu strains that could cause a pandemic. Researchers have been testing vaccines against H1N1, H5N1, H7N9, and other potential pandemic flu strains and analyzing the immune responses of different people to the vaccines.

Members of the Department were part of the national effort to prepare a vaccine against H1N1 influenza and test candidate vaccines. Several different parameters were tested: the number of doses required one or two , different dosage amounts 15 or 30 micrograms , and different age groups 18 to 64 years old, age 65 and older, and healthy children. The trial enrolled healthy adults, and a similar trial was conducted with children aged 6 months to 17 years.

Study participants received a single strength of the H1N1 vaccine given in two doses along with the seasonal flu vaccine given either before, during, or after the time that they were inoculated with the H1N1 vaccine. They worked on developing a method to collect samples and isolate viruses so that they could assess the viruses and the immune responses against them. Researchers used these samples to isolate the virus for further characterization and study how the immune system responds. These samples were banked and shared with researchers around the country. The goal of this study was to help guide the process of vaccine development and to give scientists an idea of the response to antiviral chemotherapy and changes of the virus over time.

MVM researchers have been involved in preparing assays used to detect the virus and evaluate immune responses. In addition, Dr. Robert Couch set up serologic assays for evaluation of immune responses. They kept the general public informed through local and national media outlets. The scientists continue to study the H1N1 virus to gain a deeper understanding of the virus itself, its interactions with the immune system, and responses to the H1N1 vaccine.

Additionally, researchers within the VTEU have been working on other new influenza strains that have pandemic potential including the new avian H7N9 virus and investigating vaccine strategies. This work will provide valuable information in responding to future influenza outbreaks. In more recent work, Dr. Robert Atmar and his colleagues have been conducting a phase 2 clinical trial to test a candidate for a universal flu vaccine known as M Adult healthy volunteers will receive the experimental vaccine or a placebo and will be monitored over time to evaluate their immune responses. Proteins like NS1 that are involved in pathogenesis are important targets for novel antiviral therapeutics.

The PBM is predicted to associate with a class of cellular proteins - termed PDZ proteins - that are typically involved in cell-cell contact, cellular polarity, and signaling pathways. A long-term goal of this project is to derive small molecules that can inhibit the interaction between the NS1 protein and its cellular PDZ protein targets, as such small molecules may be the basis for the development of novel therapeutics to treat avian influenza virus infection. In a separate study, Dr.

Venkataram Prasad and Zach Bornholdt, a graduate student in his laboratory, have determined the structure of a region of an important influenza protein called NS1. Their work may explain, in part, why the H5N1 virus causes such a severe and often fatal illness. NS1, a protein essential for influenza infection, antagonizes the cellular immune response and is thought to play a role in virulence.

By knowing the structure of the NS1 protein, these investigators can surmise how variations in the H5N1 version of NS1 may alter its ability to interact with other molecules. They hypothesize that the mutations or changes in the H5N1 NS1 protein allow it to overcome the cellular immune response more effectively than the NS1 proteins of other strains of influenza. X-ray structure of the NS1 protein from a highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus. Provided by Dr. Baylor College of Medicine is a health sciences university that creates knowledge and applies science and discoveries to further education, healthcare and community service locally and globally.

Palmer, Dr. Martin Stained transmission electron micrograph showing the ultrastructural details of an influenza virus particle. How Influenza Viruses Change Reassortment of the genetic material of two different influenza subtypes within an infected cell to produce a new virus subtype. Goldsmith and A. Goldsmith, and T.

Tumpey Electron Micrograph of Flu particles. Developing new vaccines for induction of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses against influenza viruses that can prevent or modify infections. Southam , a leading virologist and cancer researcher, injected cancer patients, healthy individuals, and prison inmates from the Ohio Penitentiary with HeLa cancer cells in order to observe if cancer could be transmitted. Additionally, in hopes of creating a vaccine for cancer, he observed if the subjects could become immune to cancer by developing an acquired immune response.

This experiment was highly controversial, as the cancer patient subjects were unaware that they were being injected with cancer cells. In , the Hepatitis B virus was discovered by Baruch Blumberg who went on to develop a hepatitis B vaccine. In , Howard Temin described the first retrovirus : a virus whose RNA genome was reverse transcribed into complementary DNA cDNA , then integrated into the host's genome and expressed from that template. The viral enzyme reverse transcriptase , which along with integrase is a distinguishing trait of retroviruses, was first described in , independently by Howard Temin and David Baltimore.

The first retrovirus infecting humans was identified by Robert Gallo in Later it was found that reverse transcriptase is not specific to retroviruses; retrotransposons which code for reverse transcriptase are abundant in the genomes of all eukaryotes. In the functioning of oncoviruses was clarified considerably. Until that time, it was thought that these viruses carried certain genes called oncogenes which, when inserted into the host's genome, would cause cancer.

Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus showed that the oncogene of Rous sarcoma virus is in fact not specific to the virus but is contained in the genome of healthy animals of many species. The oncovirus can switch this pre-existing benign proto-oncogene on, turning it into a true oncogene that causes cancer. In , Frederick Sanger achieved the first complete sequencing of the genome of any organism, the bacteriophage Phi X In the same year, Richard Roberts and Phillip Sharp independently showed that the genes of adenovirus contain introns and therefore require gene splicing.

It was later realized that almost all genes of eukaryotes have introns as well. A worldwide vaccination campaign led by the UN World Health Organization resulted in the eradication of smallpox in In , Stanley Prusiner discovered prions and showed that they cause scrapie. Subsequent tremendous research efforts turned HIV into the best studied virus. Several antiretroviral drugs were developed in the late s, decreasing AIDS mortality dramatically in developed countries.

The Hepatitis C virus was identified using novel molecular cloning techniques in , leading to screening tests that dramatically reduced the incidence of post- transfusion hepatitis. The first attempts at gene therapy involving viral vectors began in the early s, when retroviruses were developed that could insert a foreign gene into the host's genome.

They contained the foreign gene but did not contain the viral genome and therefore could not reproduce. Tests in mice were followed by tests in humans , beginning in The first human studies attempted to correct the genetic disease severe combined immunodeficiency SCID , but clinical success was limited. In the period from to , gene therapy was tried on several other diseases and with different viral vectors, but it became clear that the initially high expectations were overstated.

In a further setback occurred when year-old Jesse Gelsinger died in a gene therapy trial. He suffered a severe immune response after having received an adenovirus vector. In it was reported that poliovirus had been synthetically assembled in the laboratory, representing the first synthetic organism. Assembling the base genome from scratch, starting with the virus's published RNA sequence, took about two years. In a faster method was shown to assemble the base genome of the bacteriophage Phi X in 2 weeks. The giant mimivirus , in some sense an intermediate between tiny prokaryotes and ordinary viruses, was described in and sequenced in The strain of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that killed up to 50 million people during the Spanish flu pandemic in was reconstructed in Sequence information was pieced together from preserved tissue samples of flu victims; viable virus was then synthesized from this sequence.

By , Harald zur Hausen had shown that two strains of Human papillomavirus HPV cause most cases of cervical cancer. Two vaccines protecting against these strains were released in In and it was reported that introducing a small number of specific transcription factor genes into normal skin cells of mice or humans can turn these cells into pluripotent stem cells , known as induced pluripotent stem cells. The technique uses modified retroviruses to transform the cells; this is a potential problem for human therapy since these viruses integrate their genes at a random location in the host's genome, which can interrupt other genes and potentially causes cancer.

In , Sputnik virophage was described, the first known virophage : it uses the machinery of a helper virus to reproduce and inhibits reproduction of that helper virus. Sputnik reproduces in amoeba infected by mamavirus , a relative of the mimivirus mentioned above and the largest known virus to date. An endogenous retrovirus ERV is a retrovirus whose genome has been permanently incorporated into the germ-line genome of some organism and that is therefore copied with each reproduction of that organism.

It is estimated that about 9 percent of the human genome have their origin in ERVs. In it was shown that proteins from an ERV are actively expressed in 3-day-old human embryos and appear to play a role in embryonal development and protect embryos from infection by other viruses. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the journals, see Virology journal and Virology Journal. Main article: History of virology. Viruses portal. Viruses: A Very Short Introduction. Principles of Molecular Virology 5 ed. London: Academic Press. Archived from the original on Retrieved Viral Infections of Humans.

London: Arnold. Translated into English in Johnson, J.