Last updated 2 weeks ago by Michael Darmanin
The second wave is knocking on Europe’s door. The winter is almost here as well, with shorter days and darker nights. But there is some light shining from Utrecht University in these sullen times.
VIRIM stands for “virus infection real-time imaging.” This is a breakthrough in the world of virus-study methodologies. Until now, scientists could only take snapshots of cells infected with viruses. Now, with VIRIM, the whole process of infection can be observed. This means that all the progressive stages can now be analyzed and further understood.
How does it work?
VIRIM involves tagging the proteins in the RNA of the virus with a fluorescent tag. This tag can then be observed with a microscope. Involving proteins makes VIRIM a much more sensitive method of study.
Viruses spread in organisms by highjacking a cell’s replication system. Microscopic battles emerge within us when we come into contact with a virus. Our cells try to resist the highjacking attempts of the virus. However, the virus needs to act quickly. If it fails its first replication, it misses its chance of infecting the organism.
Small moments like these can now be observed, as well as their outcomes. This allows scientists to work on targeted techniques to help organisms resist the viruses’ attacks. Hopefully this brings us one step closer to defeating the corona virus.