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Surf's up for viruses

In membrane studies, pictures say thousands of words. Wednesday, the closing day of the Keystone symposium on the molecular basis for biological membrane organization, I watched a talk that contained millions of words worth of compelling images. In his presentation on retroviral transmission from infected cells to uninfected cells, linkurl:Walther Mothes;http://www.med.yale.edu/micropath/fac_mothes.html of The Yale University School of Medicine featured several time-lapse movies of viruses "sur

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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In membrane studies, pictures say thousands of words. Wednesday, the closing day of the Keystone symposium on the molecular basis for biological membrane organization, I watched a talk that contained millions of words worth of compelling images. In his presentation on retroviral transmission from infected cells to uninfected cells, linkurl:Walther Mothes;http://www.med.yale.edu/micropath/fac_mothes.html of The Yale University School of Medicine featured several time-lapse movies of viruses "surfing" along filamentous membrane projections, called filopodial bridges. Along with 90 or so scientists in the audience, I watched as filopodia grew from live, uninfected cells, reaching out and contacting infected cells. Then fluorescently labeled murine leukemia virus (MLV) particles scuttled along the thin finger-like projections and penetrated host cells. You can watch the movies linkurl:here.;http://www.nature.com/ncb/journal/v9/n3/suppinfo/ncb1544_S1.html __The Scientist__ linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/templates/trackable/display/news.jsp?type=news&o_url=news/display/52503&id=52503 Mothes' original findings last year when they were published, but in his Keystone talk he presented some new nuggets of information. Since discovering the mechanism for viral...

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