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Biotech Science

Scientists Image an HIV Particle Being Born 129

Posted by kdawson
from the begotten-in-dire-woe dept.
FiReaNGeL alerts us to a huge development in virology and microscopy: by using a specialized microscope that only illuminates a cell's surface, scientists at Rockefeller University have watched, in real time, hundreds of thousands of molecules coming together in a living cell to form a single particle of HIV-1. A video is available on Rockefeller's front page. "By zeroing in at the cell's surface, the team became the first to document the time it takes for each HIV particle, or virion, to assemble: five to six minutes. 'At first, we had no idea whether it would take milliseconds or hours,' says Jouvenet. 'We just didn't know.' 'This is the first time anyone has seen a virus particle being born,' says Bieniasz, who is an associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Retrovirology at Rockefeller and a scientist at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. 'Not just HIV,' he clarifies, 'any virus.'"
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Scientists Image an HIV Particle Being Born

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  • by Tarcastil (832141) * on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:51PM (#23538217)
    A viral video that benefits science?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This video was made by the US military 20 years ago when they were developing HIV.
    • But nonetheless custom dictates that we ought to all stand around and politely congratulate the parents.
    • by LoverOfJoy (820058)
      You may have fooled me once but I won't be rickrolled again!
  • 404? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by 42forty-two42 (532340)
    The link from RU's frontpage seems to be broken - anyone have a mirror?
  • I remember (Score:5, Funny)

    by mfh (56) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#23538283) Homepage Journal
    When they used to say that the time it took a Windows computer to go from the first boot time to an infected state was about five minutes.

    Coincidence?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by chunk08 (1229574)

      Coincidence?
      No. the US Military tested AIDS on Windows. Windows was designed to be an easily infectable host for experimentation, and was released to the public when the military decided that that would be the best way to spy on us.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by value_added (719364)
      When they used to say that the time it took a Windows computer to go from the first boot time to an infected state was about five minutes.

      Coincidence?


      The real coincidence was that it's same amount of time you have to wait for everything in the background to finish loading to get a fully functioning machine.
      • Re:I remember (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@nosPAm.hotmail.com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @06:57PM (#23539345) Homepage

        When they used to say that the time it took a Windows computer to go from the first boot time to an infected state was about five minutes. Coincidence?
        The real coincidence was that it's same amount of time you have to wait for everything in the background to finish loading to get a fully functioning machine.
        Your use of the words "fully functioning" is somewhat debatable...
        • by kestasjk (933987)

          When they used to say that the time it took a Windows computer to go from the first boot time to an infected state was about five minutes. Coincidence?

          The real coincidence was that it's same amount of time you have to wait for everything in the background to finish loading to get a fully functioning machine.

          Your use of the words "fully functioning" is somewhat debatable...

          blah blah Windows is bad blah blah..
          Wait isn't this an article on HIV? I guess it doesn't really matter..

  • Not to be premature, but if they are able to cure viruses, there is going to be a second sexual revolution. No condoms, ever again? HOORAY! Everyone throw your HATS IN THE AIR! (Jim-hats, that is). Then all we need is a safe version of the male 'pill', and everything is set, set, set!
    • by spleen_blender (949762) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:28PM (#23538433)
      Well everyone except /.ers



      *cries*
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      Not to be premature, but if they are able to cure viruses, there is going to be a second sexual revolution. No condoms, ever again? HOORAY!

      Not like this is gonna change things much for typical slashdot readers :-)

      Anyhow, many religious leaders believe that God sent HIV to punish promiscuity, and are not welcoming a cure.
             
    • by urbanriot (924981)
      I don't know about that... HIV isn't stopping the greater infected areas from having sex, and neither are other STD's in first world coutries.
  • Push, Honey! PUSH!
  • While I applaud the work, I am not entirely convinced that this article is "Nature" worthy. True enough, it shows something that has not been directly observed before, but does it describe a phenomenon that is entirely novel? This data merely confirms what has been known about HIV assembly, while enabling to observe kinetics.

    Maybe, I am wrong, but I would like to see a bit more data in this article. I suspect this might be one of these cases of "publish this before anyone else does" and then follow with
    • Re:Resolution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BorgCopyeditor (590345) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:08PM (#23538697)
      If I understand correctly, the kinetics could reveal a weak spot in the "life"-cycle of the virus, which could suggest new treatment options.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The kinetics don't just reveal potential weak spots, they are a fingerprint of the very crucial and delicate assembly process.

        There are known antiviral drugs that can work by either inhibiting or even accelerating viral capsid assembly.

        To my knowledge, the best example of this is Hepatitis B. In addition to being a very real pathogen, it serves as something of a model system since the assembly is so well documented and controllable.

        If you cause the HBV capsid to assemble too rapidly, it forms aberrant shee
  • Look honey...it looks just like you!
  • ID (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:40PM (#23538519) Journal
    I saw God's finger poke into the mix at 0:34.74sec of the video. I told you! ... hmmm, or maybe it was a noodly appendage.
         
    • by kubla2000 (218039)

      I saw God's finger poke into the mix at 0:34.74sec of the video. I told you! ... hmmm, or maybe it was a noodly appendage.

         
      Are you sure that was his finger?
    • Amazing (Score:4, Funny)

      by Dan East (318230) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:17PM (#23538751) Homepage Journal
      That's pretty amazing, especially considering the video is less than 15 seconds long.
    • by glitch23 (557124)

      I saw God's finger poke into the mix at 0:34.74sec of the video. I told you! ... hmmm, or maybe it was a noodly appendage.

      Although you aren't original for making an ID joke on slashdot you bring up a good point whether you like it or not. The point being that those particles are not alive and yet they are forming something that is. This totally beats anything biogenesis/evolution could do due to the speed at which it occurs. That same something started somewhere in the world many decades ago for some reason out of the blue, possibly even outside of a living organsim which then somehow got inside of an animal or human. Now mi

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Viruses aren't living organisms any more than chain letters are. They're merely DNA- or RNA-encoded "copy me" instructions which are compatible with the processes that makes living cells function. We don't quite know where they come from, though some seem to be leftover transcription errors (from cells attempting to copy their own DNA) or bacteria whose DNA turned out to be more effective when hijacking other cells than running its own. Argument from personal incredulity aside, there's no fixed limit on the
  • Intriguing that we can view so small a thing yet not have much in the way of controlling or manipulating it the way we would like to. Also, pretty fascinating for something that is not alive.
  • So could someone explain how this effects us? How is this a major leap as the article says? Watching it be born seems cool and all but how does that help us kill it?
    • Now we can train nano-sharks with fricken' laser beams attached to their heads to recognize the birth taking place and inject them into people's blood stream to immunize them against HIV!
    • by mikael (484) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:43PM (#23538889)
      Before, researchers didn't know how long it took for the AIDS virus (or any virus) to assemble itself from the different amino-acids required to make the genes, and the proteins required to make the outer casing. It could have been hours, minutes or milliseconds. Now, they know it takes several minutes.

      A cure would involve kill cells that have the virus inside. Detecting and killing such cells is one step to finding a cure, but probably impossible. Finding drugs which inhibit the virus entering cells, reaching the DNA, or leaving the cells are all partial cures.

      Development of antibodies which attach and kill cells with the virus particles partially formed on the surface of the cell is the next most likely achievement. To achieve this, they now know that they need something which can completely enclose the surface of a cell within 5-6 minutes.

      Also, they now have a new technique to visualise the behavior of virus particles in a cell. They can watch to see how any potential treatments interact with the virus within the cell in real-time.

      • by geek (5680)
        Thanks for the explanation. That makes a lot of sense.
      • by ikkonoishi (674762) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @06:59PM (#23539377) Journal
        Perhaps tiny little sharks with fricken lasers.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          They already exist and they are called macrophages. They don't have lasers, but they can shoot a a chlorine burst that will do the same thing. Too bad they are stupid. Without the helper T cells giving them directions, them and their weaker neutrophil cousins are fairly inept. They can fight some bacteria, but they generally ignore viruses.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:43PM (#23538891)
      It doesn't "effect" us, our parents did that.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        dunno why you got modded as a troll

        I thought it was fricken funny!

        But then most here are too dense to understand the difference between effect and affect, then and than, your and you're etc etc.....
    • by nbauman (624611)

      So could someone explain how this effects us? How is this a major leap as the article says? Watching it be born seems cool and all but how does that help us kill it?

      Good question actually. Let me try an answer.
      If we know the steps that HIV uses to assemble its virus particles, we can look for a way to jam up one of those steps.
      This video (and the research behind it) helps us understand how HIV assembles its virus particles. It helps researchers figure out a way to jam up the works.
      Researchers have already figured out how to jam up the works in some of the other steps in HIV processes. As a result, HIV used to kill people after about 6 years. Now they can go on

  • The article and video show individual HIV particles emerging from a cell. There isn't any imaging of "hundreds of thousands of molecules coming together" to form the particles. Or am I missing something?
    • by Mortiss (812218)
      Well, that is in fact what is happening. (This has been shown by other studies). Aggregation of ~5000 Gag proteins leads to HIV virion budding. However due to the resolution limits of the light microscope (at least the setup used here), this is not seen.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @09:09PM (#23540151) Homepage
    NewswiseScience News [newswise.com].

    (The link from the Rockefeller University main page is currently broken).
  • I thought particles are for the most part pieces of matter, regardable as uniform in structure. I do not work with viruses--are individual viruses referred to as particles?

    There is something about the theory of fractal similarity at different scales--HIV gathering on a cell resembles flies assembling on dead meat.

    The video caption is "individual HIV particles (white spots) assembling on the surface of an infected cell" but the article is titled "single HIV particle". That's fishy.
    • by bh_doc (930270)
      "Dust particles" aren't single atoms of dust. The definition you're thinking of applies moreso to the physical sciences than any other setting. Whereas here, it seems to be used to mean a very tiny clump of something.
  • That is interesting. What a scary form of birth...
  • They say they photographed it in action. Where's the video?
  • Aids is an autoimmune disease and upper cervical specific doctors have helped to balance the bodies of these people to reverse the effects and symptom of this so called disease. The full body chiropractors and mixers are the ones to blame for peoples disillusionment .go to the web site wwwupcspine.com and you will learn a lot!

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