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Scientists Use the Zika Virus to Kill Brain Tumor Cells   [824호]
Scientists Use the Zika Virus to Kill Brain Tumor Cells0Researchers have been studying the Zika virus in order to destroy brain tumors. Traditionally, treating brain cancer has been extremely difficult.
The Zika virus can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly when a pregnant woman is infected with the virus, which is carried by the Aedes species of mosquitoes.
Scientists found out that they can have the Zika virus break into brain cells using a special molecular key, αvβ5 (alpha nu beta five), an integrin they discovered while trying to find out which integrin would penetrate into brain cells by inserting various types of the Zika virus. They also found out how to exclusively destroy cancer cells in the brain without affecting healthy brain cells by genetically modifying the Zika virus.
“When we blocked other integrins, there was no difference,” Dr. Jeremy Rich, director of the Brain Tumor Institute at UC San Diego Health, said. “But with αvβ5, blocking it with an antibody almost completely blocked the ability of the virus to infect brain cancer stem cells and normal brain stem cells.”

Hanna Jeong
Staff Reporter
1. What are researchers doing with the Zika virus?
2. How does the Zika virus can cause microcephaly?
3. How were scientists able to make the Zika virus destroy cancer cells?
1. Even if they are modified, do you think dangerous viruses should be used for treatment?
2. Do you think using modified versions of the Ziki virus will become a common treatment?
3. Do you think other viruses have the potential to help humans? 4. Do you think scientists should be allowed to experiment with dangerous viruses?