Newly discovered lethal virus can hijack cellular defense against cancer

New Delhi, Aug 06 (ANI) The recently-discovered Henipavirus, a lethal virus, is said to hold the capability of hijacking cellular defense against cancer. This is amongst the deadliest viruses known to man and have no effective treatments. The viruses under Henipavirus include Hendra, lethal to humans and horses, and the Nipah virus, a serious threat in East and Southeast Asia. They are on the World Health Organization Blueprint list of priority diseases, which need urgent research and development activities. A collaboration of scientists, led by Gregory Moseley, found that Henipaviruses hijack a mechanism used by cells to counter DNA damage and prevent harmful mutations, important in diseases such as cancer. It was already known that the viruses send a particular protein into a key part of a cell?s nucleus called the nucleolus, but it wasn?t known why it did this. According to him, it is possible that blocking the virus from doing this may lead to the development of new anti-viral therapies. Though, he is concerned about its adverse outcome too. He further stressed that, ?Like Ebola, if you get a really big outbreak and it?s not containable, it could be disastrous.? The study?s findings add insights into how viruses behave more generally. It is to be noted that both Hendra and Nipah, which spread from bats to other animals and humans, emerged in the 1990s. Apparently, Nipah killed several hundred people, including at least 17 people in the Indian state of Kerala in June this year. The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
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