First Complete Structure of Flu Virus Machine Cracked, Future Drug Potential Enormous

It is more than 40 years since scientists have been trying to track the flu virus machine to crack the way to nail it down as it is the single most dreaded future killer that hangs on the entire humanity. A new research has come up for the first time with the complete structure of one of its key machines, called polymerase.

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble, France have finally obtained the structure of the virus key machine plymerase that helps researchers understand how the machine works and possibly to find a cure to flu virus.

The findings, published in Nature, throw light on the virus structure that could pave the way for eventual deevelopment of a new drug to treat serious flu infections and fight flu pandemics in future.

The machine, called influenza virus polymerase, helps the virus two-fold — it copies of the virus’ genetic material, the viral RNA, and transfers it into new viruses that can infect other cells and gives out the instructions to repeat viral messenger RNA, which in turn directs the infected cell to produce the proteins the virus requires. The experiment was successfully carried on the bat version of the influenza.

Stephen Cusack, head of EMBL Grenoble, said though the flu polymerase was discovered 40 years ago, this is the first time they were able to have the complete structure so the new research could now begin to develop on that.

The EMBL scientists say they can focus on developing new designs for drugs based on this structure and to determine the structure of the human version of influenza A.

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