Many viruses, including HIV and influenza A, mutate so quickly that identifying effective vaccines or treatments is like trying to hit a moving target. A better understanding of viral propagation and evolution in single cells could help. Today, scientists report a new technique that can not only identify and quantify viral RNA in living cells, but also detect minor changes in RNA sequences that might give viruses an edge or make some people “superspreaders.”
The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.
“For studying a new virus like SARS-CoV-2, it’s important to understand not only how populations respond to the virus, but how individuals—either people or cells—interact with it,” says Laura Fabris, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. “So we’ve focused our efforts on studying viral replication in single cells, which in the past has been technically