Tag Archives: Paul Bieniasz

Research captures transient details of HIV genome packaging

Researchers have employed a recently developed technique to capture how a viral protein, Gag, selectively extracts and packages viral RNA into the viral particles that exported to new cells. More »

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Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machinery

Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machineryResearchers have found that the immune system fights a flu infection by turning off cellular enzymes the virus needs to put the final touches on new viral particles. The unfinished particles cannot spread infection to new cells. More »

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‘Big picture’ of how interferon-induced genes launch antiviral defenses revealed

A team of researchers, led by scientists from Rockefeller University, for the first time has carried out a comprehensive, systematic evaluation of the antiviral activity of factors induced by interferon. The findings, published online today in the journal Nature, are a first step toward unraveling how these naturally occurring molecules work to inhibit viruses. More »

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Paul Bieniasz promoted to professor

A retrovirologist at Rockefeller who studies the mechanisms that viruses use to assemble new viral particles and the resistance of certain cell types to infection has been awarded tenure and promoted to professor. Paul Bieniasz has reanimated extinct retroviruses, elucidated defenses evolved by organisms to fend off attacking viruses and made key strides toward developing a monkey model of HIV. More »

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Imaging study shows HIV particles assembling around its genome

The genesis of one the planet’s most lethal viruses, HIV, has been caught on tape. New imaging experiments show individual HIV genomes — strands of RNA — docking on the inner membrane of an infected cell wall as they are ensconced by HIV structural proteins. More »

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Immune system uses a “leash” to restrict HIV’s spread

New research shows how an antiviral protein, tetherin, lashes newborn viral particles to infected cells, slowing the spread of infection. Understanding how this immune system defense works against HIV, Ebola and other deadly viruses could lead to better antiviral therapies. More »

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Researchers unveil new monkey model for HIV

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in engineering a strain of HIV-1 that they can study in monkeys. Just one gene different from the deadly retrovirus that works all too well in humans, the new strain spreads in pig-tailed macaques almost as ferociously as it does in humans. Researchers at The Rockefeller University have already used it to demonstrate one method for preventing HIV-1 infection. With some minor changes, it could become a valuable model for vetting vaccine candidates. More »

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Defensive protein killed ancient primate retroviruses, research suggests

Retroviruses work their way into the DNA of their host organisms and stay on even after they have died. Their remnants leave a “fossil record” in the genomes of the species they infected, giving scientists a chance to discover what killed them and, potentially, find clues for fighting retroviruses like HIV that plague us today. Researchers from Rockefeller University have now revived two groups of ancient primate retroviruses and identified their killer as a defensive protein found in humans and other species. More »


New evidence of battle between humans and ancient virus

Human ancestors fought back against an ancient retrovirus with a defense mechanism that our bodies still use today. Evidence of this battle has been preserved in our DNA for millions of years. More »


Two Rockefeller faculty become new HHMI investigators

Two Rockefeller University faculty members, Paul D. Bieniasz and Leslie B. Vosshall, have been named HHMI investigators and will receive stable financial support for their research over a period of several years, allowing them to conduct high-risk research and follow their ideas through to fruition. More »

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Scientists image a single HIV particle being born

For some, the saying “seeing is believing” has taken on a new meaning. In research to be published in the May 25 advance online issue of Nature, scientists at Rockefeller University and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center have become the first to see, in real time and in plain sight, an HIV particle being born. The images, created using a technique that illuminates only the surface of the cell, where the virus assembles, have the potential to help researchers develop new treatments for AIDS. More »

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Protein discovered that prevents HIV from spreading

In a study that could open up a new area of virology, scientists have found a molecule that keeps mutant strains of HIV from leaving their host cell. This new protein, tetherin, causes new virus particles to stay stuck to the outer membrane and be reabsorbed by the cell. More »

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Cells use Velcro-like mechanism to keep viruses from spreading

Rockefeller University researchers have found that an immune protein called interferon is responsible for tethering virus particles to the cell surface, thereby preventing viruses from spreading through the body. HIV appears to get around this obstacle by using a protein, called Vpu, that appears to have evolved specifically for this purpose. More »


An ancient retrovirus is resurrected

Researchers studying extinct retroviruses — distant relatives of HIV — don’t use the traditional tools of paleontologists, but instead need look only as far as our own DNA. Humans have a number of defunct retroviruses deposited in our DNA, and now scientists have brought one of them back to life. More »

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Viral detectives: Researchers track down the location of HIV-1 assembly in human cells

New research by Rockefeller University and ADARC scientists pinpoints the location of HIV-1 assembly in human immune cells. Although the assembly site had long been a topic of dispute, the researchers show conclusively that the virus is being built in the cells’ plasma membranes and not, as many had supposed, in internal cellular compartments called endosomes. More »

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HIV gets a makeover: A few adjustments to the AIDS virus could alter the course of research

In an advance that has the potential to revolutionize AIDS vaccine research, researchers at Rockefeller University and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center have used a combination of genetic engineering and forced adaptation to create a version of HIV that replicates vigorously in human and monkey cells. More »

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HIV protein acts as a solvent, releasing viral particles from the surface of their host cell

In the 17 years since the Vpu protein was shown to help HIV spread between cells, no clear theory has emerged to explain exactly how it works. But now, scientists at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) and Rockefeller University have uncovered a very specific role for Vpu: It works like a solvent to “unstick” viruses from the membrane of the cell that produced them, allowing them to be released and spread to adjacent cells. More »

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