The Scientist - "'Alive' and In Focus"
Using labeled viruses has allowed researchers to track the movement of genes during infection. Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre and his colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City used fluorescent markers to look at influenza infection patterns in mice. Instead of labeling a structural protein, they engineered a virus that included GFP encoded in its genome so that they could track which cells were infected—a challenge, because the virus’s small size makes it difficult to label without interfering with its behavior. The modification tags a protein that affects virulence, allowing the researchers to follow its expression within the lungs of mice and identify changes in response to treatment with the antiviral drug oseltamivir. Learn more