The bacteria could present a “novel biological control mechanism,” aiding efforts to stop the spread of Zika virus.
Researchers have shown that one infection with Zika virus protects against future infection, though pregnancy may drastically increase the time the virus stays in the body.
These sorts of studies cannot be performed in humans, hence the need to develop and study mouse models.
The new approach would better forecast the naturally occurring mutations that help seasonal flu virus dodge vaccines.
This basic knowledge of a specific cancer is essential to start drug testing, says researcher Peter Lewis.
Su-Chun Zhang and co-first authors Yuejun Chen and Man Xiong grew the specialized nerve cells from human embryonic stem cells.
“We are a long way from declaring a cure for fragile X, but these results are promising,” says researcher Xinyu Zhao.
If replicated in human cells, the feat could one day fuel drug discovery, powerful new models for heart disease and the raw material for treating diseased hearts.
Very little is known about the virus even though more than 50 years have passed since it was discovered in the Zika Forest in Uganda.
A protein found in the brains of mice is present at higher levels in females, which offers them stronger protection against one type of injury.