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Lab Notes: Stop Hepatitis C from Multiplying

Hep C may be thwarted by muting its ability to replicate. Also this week: a promising approach to preserve muscle in ALS, and the body's microbiota fight a sexually-transmitted disease.

Stopping HCV in Its Tracks

Researchers have identified a possible new approach to stopping hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection that involves attacking the virus's ability to reproduce.

The attack was brought by agents called RNA aptamers, which work by binding to and disabling the NS5B replicase enzyme involved in replication of the virus.

As Seong-Wook Lee, PhD, of Dankook University in South Korea, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Virology, the agents inhibited replication of two variants of HCV -- genotypes 1b and 2a -- in cultured human liver cells without inducing toxicity or innate immunity. Also, there were no signs that the approach induced resistance.

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