Gain of Function and VLPs
Welcome to another Still in the Storm post!
My goal with these videos is to try, whenever possible, to bring you into the lab by sharing my personal experiences. Well, maybe not directly into the lab, but I will try to paint the picture as descriptively as possible.
Last week, I gave a virus primer. Not to be confused with PCR primers.
In that primer I talked about the challenges with two key aspects of virology, visualization and isolation. Particles of this size are not able to visualized without significant manipulation and many will admit that getting an isolation of absolute purity is essentially impossible.
Let’s now move on to discuss another topic in the realm of viruses. This time I want to delve into gain of function and the idea of synthetic virus-like particles (VLPs).
We have heard a lot about gain of function research being done in labs in the US as well as potentially in China. For the most part it has been used to drive more fear, but what exactly is it and do we need to worry about it?
I have also seen some confusion recently around the idea of synthetic laboratory created virus-like particles and I am shedding some light on that too. And, I am sharing some of the work that I did when I was studying HIV.
Bottomline, I am going to do my best to deconvolute and demystify all of these crazy ideas that you continue to get thrown at you.
I hope you find the information valuable. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions on this topic or any other for that matter. I always want to make sure that these are as valuable for you as possible.
Until next time, don’t stop questioning the science!
Thank you and God Bless.
Here is last weeks post in case you missed it:
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