Wednesday, August 12, 2009
UNC researchers have reported in Nature the first decoding of a complete HIV-1 RNA genome. Featured on the cover of the August 6, 2009 issue, the research team describes the structure at single-nucleotide resolution in an article entitled, “Architecture and Secondary Structure of an Entire HIV-1 RNA Genome.” (JM Watts et al. Nature 460, 711-716 (2009)). Previous studies had modelled only small regions of the genome, and the new work will aid greatly in the understanding of the lifecycle of viruses and hopefully help speed the development of antiviral drugs. Further details on the study are available on the UNC School of Medicine web site.