Viral Binding and Paris Hilton
I can’t tell which one looks more computer generated. While both images illustrate the effective application of modern chemistry, this article unfortunately concerns picture number two (me being a science nerd, it’s always a good bet to go with the most boring choice). Something you could ask about both pictures, however, might be “What the heck is it?” The answer, at least in the second case, would be virus but not much else. It seems that while modern science has been able to concoct plastic surgery out of food poisoning, they are at a loss to explain the actions of a little glob of protein. While it might be slightly unfair to blame the lack of knowledge on an academic shift from virus to Paris, the truth is that science knows relatively little about much of the pathogenesis of these organisms.
As we move into the future, however, a glimmer of hope has arisen from the ashes of despair. The source? None other than that tome of knowledge, the journal of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. It seems that by taking a cell being attacked by a virus and blasting it with electrons, they have the first visual proof of a viral protease binding to DNA. By interacting with the genome the virus can alter the cellular protein machinery to do its will and thus rules forever as the supreme dictator of all things cellular!! Sorry, got a little carried away.
This news really is exciting, however, as it gives researchers the opportunity to make drugs tailored to attack the virus where it binds. These techniques can then be used to study the DNA binding habits of other viruses thus spawning additional meds. It’s like the circle of death (at least for the viruses). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish my research on the applications of modern science.