19 May 2016 Current Affairs GK: A multidisciplinary research team from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) on 13 May 2016 announced that it genetically engineered world’s first clone of the Zika virus strain.
The development of cDNA clone, as it is called, is expected to speed up many aspects of Zika research, including vaccine and therapeutic development.
It will also unlock scientists’ ability to more quickly develop countermeasures and explore whether or how the Zika virus has evolved to spread more quickly and cause more severe diseases in people.
In addition to the cDNA clone, the scientists developed mosquito infection models and the Zika mouse model which will help the researchers deciphering why the virus is tied to serious diseases.
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