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Scientists clone a human virus known to cause life-threatening illnesses

Scientists clone a human virus known to cause life-threatening illnesses

Posting in Technology

Scientists cloned the HCNV virus. The fact that they can replicate the virus outside the body will open up new treatment possibilities.

The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can be a deadly problem in people with HIV/AIDs or in transplant patients. Welsh scientists cloned the HCMV human virus.

This cloned virus could open up a range of treatment options.

Before this, scientists had a hard time replicating the HCMV outside the human body. Well, the virus' genome was so large it was hard to replicate.

To get around this issue, the scientists isolated the troublesome region of the virus and developed cells to grow the virus. Specifically, RL13 is thought to be the main inhibitor of replication.

Being able to clone a virus will allow scientists to develop antivirals and vaccines against the virus. The fact that the researchers could clone the virus outside the body gives hope for new treatment options.

HCMV is the highest priority vaccine that the US Institute of Medicine wants to tackle, as the virus is the major cause of congenital malformations in the world.

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure