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Scientists discover viral ‘Enigma machine’

Researchers have cracked a code that governs infections by a major group of viruses including the common cold and polio.

Viral 'Enigma Machine'
A code hidden in the arrangement of the of single-stranded tells the virus how to pack itself within its outer shell of proteins.
Credit:University of Leeds


The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the (EPSRC). ’s and Dr Dykeman’s also supported the work.

The full paper: N. Patel et al. ‘Revealing the density of encoded functions in a viral RNA,’ PNAS (2014); DOI 10.1073/ pnas.1420812112).

University of Leeds