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August 21st, 2004
Using a combination of imaging techniques, researchers have determined the mechanics that allow some viruses to invade cells by piercing their outer membranes and digesting their cell walls. The researchers combined their findings with earlier studies to create a near-complete scenario for that form of viral assault.
The results have a dual benefit: they show the inner workings of complex, viral nanomachines infecting cells and the images provide design tips for engineers hoping to build the gene delivery devices of the future.
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