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Zika Virus Proteins Linked to Neurological Problems and Birth Defects

January 5th, 2017

It looks like scientists have begun to figure out exactly how the Zika virus causes serious neurological problems in adults and infants. Researchers found seven different proteins in the Zika virus that they’ve found to be main thing causing birth and neurological defects in humans.

The researchers were able to discover these lethal proteins by exposing fission yeast to them and seeing what kind of damage they caused the yeast. Out of the 14 proteins in the Zika virus, 7 of them proved deadly, with the proteins causing cellular harm and killing the fusion yeast.  The other seven weren’t much better. They contributed by inhibiting cell growth.

It looks like these proteins are the culprit behind the serious birth defects caused by the Zika virus infecting pregnant mothers. These birth defects range from microcephaly, which can be diagnosed right at birth, as well as other cognitive problems and seizures in the infants as they mature. This research is a major discovery about the Zika virus, and could possibly help scientists figure out how to better treat it and aid in finding a way to stop this virus from infecting and harming humans in the future.

How do you think discovering these lethal proteins could help us wipe out the Zika virus?

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