This week in techniques



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Disease models

Engineered influenza A virus with ferret-specific replication

An engineered influenza A virus that replicates only in ferrets could help study transmission of highly pathogenic influenza A virus. Influenza A viruses were engineered to have target sites for microRNA-192 (miR-192), which is expressed in the respiratory tracts of humans and mice but not ferrets. In human lung cells, replication of influenza A virus with the miR-192 target site was blocked. In ferrets, the miR-192 target site-containing virus was infectious. Next steps include engineering influenza A to have one to four miRNA-target sites (see Molecular biocontainment for the flu, page 7).

SciBX 6(35); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.974
Published online Sept. 12, 2013

Patented; available for partnering

Langlois, R.A. et al. Nat. Biotechnol.; published online Aug. 11, 2013;
Contact: Benjamin R. tenOever, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,
New York, N.Y.

Contact: Adolfo García-Sastre, same affiliation as above

Contact: Daniel Perez, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.