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UCI is waging an Ebola battle that might lead to cure
Orange County Register

Michelle Digman examines microscopic fluorescent green buds that protrude from the surface of a human cell like pins pushing their way through the inside of pincushion.

Under Digman’s microscope in the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics at UCI, this cell has been injected with VP40, the main protein that creates the Ebola virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa since March.

“These kinds of infections have spread before and can spread again,” warns Digman, co-principal investigator at the lab.

Under Digman’s watch, the protein replicates itself thousands of times using the cell’s own machinery. It clusters near the cell membrane, bending that ultra-thin layer and pushing it outward in buds packed with VP40. Eventually, these buds drift away to infect other cells.

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