Researchers design a 3D movie of virus in action to infect healthy cells


3D movie of virus

A research team has created a movie with nanoscale resolution of the three-dimensional changes a virus face as it prepares to infect a healthy cell. In an experiment, the scientists capture the process at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

The research team used an open source data set, and applied a complicative and innovative analysis on the existing data called “manifold based analysis.” This approach analyzes the facial expression based on changes in the shape of the face.

Researchers created the movie based on the data showed that the virus rearranges its genetic material and forms a tubular structure to empty its own DNA into a host cell.

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mathematical reconstruction

For analyzing, the researchers examined more than 100,000 snapshots of the PR772 virus, which infects bacteria. Bright X-ray pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) hit the virus and scattered in a pattern that provided data require for mathematical reconstruction. For that, researchers developed new, powerful algorithms to reconstruct the sequence of the images from the large volume of data.

Not only for this research to demonstrate a 3-D movie of the PR772 bacteriophage. Also, demonstrates a single particle imaging method to a resolution of 10 nanometers. This resolution is nearly an order of magnitude better than what previously achieved, says, Andy Aquila, SLAC scientist.

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The researchers discovered the reorganization of virus genome and the formation of a tubular structure are part of a concerted simultaneous process. The work helps scientists to understand diseases caused by viruses and could lead to improve therapies.

According to researchers, single particle imaging using free-electron lasers requires that every particle is identical in shape and size.

More information: [Nature]