themadscientists

Best science image 2010 – The HIV virus in action.

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2011 at 17:18

HIV attacking cell
A Russian team led by Ivan Konstantinov won the prize for best science image in 2010, for constructing a 3-d model of the HIV virus attacking a human cell.

According to statistics there are about 35 million people living with this deadly disease in the world. To try and imagine the 16,8 million HIV/AIDS orphans, and 1,8 million dead in 2009 , shows how grim this usurping little virus is. The Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the most burdened by the virus, with an estimated number of 22,4 million people infected, and every single day the virus finds its way into 6800 new people across the globe. In the future, images like these might be helpful in making a better treatment. The award is given by the American National Science Foundation and the scientific journal Science

The model is made up of several hundred thousand individual molecule-models, and the team had to analyze data from over a 100 scientific papers to construct an accurate image of how the virus looks in real life. It is visualized using the models of 17 different viral and cellular proteins . The membrane incorporates 160 thousand lipid molecules, of 8 different types, in the same proportions as in an actual HIV particle. On the surface of the cell one can see the small red strains of molecules as the HIV, latching on to the cells receptors, releasing it`s deadly payload into the cell`s nucleus. Making it into a factory producing HIV, until the host cell burst into thousands of new viruses, ready to infect new cells.

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  1. One science where these kinds of models can be utilized, is nanotechnology. If you follow the link under, you can see what kinds of medical technology that might be helped along by models as the one mentioned in the blog-post above.

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/nano-sized-vaccines-0222.html

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