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Nano-life: An Introduction to Virus Structure and Assembly

Watson and Crick noted that the size of a viral genome was insufficient to encode a protein large enough to encapsidate it and reasoned, therefore that a virus shell must be composed of multiple, but identical subunits. Today, high resolution structures of virus capsids reveal the basis of this genetic economy as a highly symmetrical structure, much like a geodesic dome composed of protein subunits. Crystallographic structures and cryo-electron microscopy reconstructions combined with molecul...

Start Date: Sep 01, 2005 Topics: Literature, Biology
Cost: Free

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Description

Watson and Crick noted that the size of a viral genome was insufficient to encode a protein large enough to encapsidate it and reasoned, therefore that a virus shell must be composed of multiple, but identical subunits. Today, high resolution structures of virus capsids reveal the basis of this genetic economy as a highly symmetrical structure, much like a geodesic dome composed of protein subunits. Crystallographic structures and cryo-electron microscopy reconstructions combined with molecular data are beginning to reveal how these nano-structures are built. Topics covered in the course will include basic principles of virus structure and symmetry, capsid assembly, strategies for enclosing nucleic acid, proteins involved in entry and exit, and the life cycles of well understood pathogens such as HIV, influenza, polio, and Herpes. A review of cutting edge structural methods is also covered.This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting.

Details

  • Dates: Sep 01, 2005 to Dec 20, 2005
  • Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Level of Difficulty: Beginner
  • Size: Massive Open Online Course
  • Instructors: Dr. Peter Weigele, Dr. Melissa Kosinski-Collins
  • Cost: Free
  • Institution: MIT OCW
  • Topics: Literature, Biology

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About MIT OCW: MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

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