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Creation of virus?

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Creation of virus?

Postby trueman » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:56 am

Is it possible to create a virus such as Hepatits , influenza or HIV in the laboratory?

Or is it possible to manipulate or alter the viruses genetically to produce a new type ( cousin virus )?

Can this be done in the lab manually?

I'm more interested in HIV .
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Postby JackBean » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:22 am

sure, if you sequenced it, what's not that a big problem nowadays, you can modify it easily.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby canalon » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:01 pm

It is technically possible to fully create one.
It is common to modify one gene at a time in order to study its product (active site, tag the product,..)
It maigh have happened by accident at least once (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6022/1253.summary)
So yes, although the diversity of the isolates of HIV (1 and 2) suggest a long evolutionary history that is not consistent with the hypothesis that this was the case for that virus.
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Postby trueman » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:46 pm

thank you.

Lets say a modified / altered form of HIV is created. Will is still be detected by the standard HIV tests?
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Postby canalon » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:06 pm

Depends on the modification.
Depends of the test: ELISA, western and Nucleic acid based all will have different response to different mutations as they relie on vastly different methods of detection.
But since those tests are quite reliable, (the western detects some larger feature of the virus while the ELISA detects the Antibody targeted against it) while the virus is known to be mutating a lot by itself, I seriously doubt that you could easily engineer an HIV strain that would evade detection without losing significant amount of its capacity.
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Postby trueman » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:56 am

Well, there are several subtypes and groups within HIV. Can't another undetectable subtype of HIV be created in the LAB?
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Re: Creation of virus?

Postby skeptic » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:51 am

There was also a case when mousepox virus was modified and formed a far more potent pathogen, which killed mice more quickly and was more contageous. The fear was that the USA and/or Russia might take their stocks of smallpox virus and modify it in a similar way to make a super biological weapon. Scary. http://txtwriter.com/Backgrounders/Biot ... rror8.html

For all we know, it may already have been done, and the new weapon is now ready for deployment.
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Postby trueman » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:01 am

So suppose similarly HIV had beed modified to become more infectious/dangerous , would it still be detected by the HIV test? or will the designers design it in such a way that it evades detection?( if this is possible )
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Re: Creation of virus?

Postby skeptic » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:38 am

trueman

That is unlikely. The antibodies that are the basis for AIDS diagnosis should still be there.
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Postby trueman » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:15 am

Thank you !
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Postby JackBean » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:31 am

trueman: are you talking about detection in enviroment or in human after infection/death?

I cannot imagine, why it couldn't be designed that way. If you know the epitope, you can simply delete/alter it in such way, it will be recognized by different antibodies
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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