Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infection

Viruses may inject their DNA into a host cell synchronously or randomly, a new study finds. The difference appears to influence the course of infection. Graphic by Alex Evilevitch and Ting Liu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new study reveals a previously unknown mechanism that governs whether viruses that infect bacteria will quickly kill their hosts or remain latent inside the cell. The discovery, reported in the journal eLife, also may apply to viruses that infect humans and other animals, the researcher said.

Editor’s notes:

To reach Alex Evilevitch, call 217-300-5435; email alexe@illinois.edu.

The paper “The mobility of packaged phage genome controls ejection dynamics” is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau.

Source: Illinois NEWS BUREAU

Summary
Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infection
Article Name
Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infection
Description
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new study reveals a previously unknown mechanism that governs whether viruses that infect bacteria will quickly kill their hosts or remain latent inside the cell. The discovery, reported in the journal eLife, also may apply to viruses that infect humans and other animals, the researcher said.