NANOPARTICLE POWER Researchers have created nanoparticles (blue) that can detect a plant virus with a common form (imprint shown in pink) and distinguish it from similar types. Alessandro Cumbo and Martin Oeggerli

News in Brief: Synthetic nanomaterial can recognize viruses

New method may have advantages over antibody-based technologies

By Puneet Kollipara
Web edition: February 20, 2013

A new synthetic nanomaterial can identify a common type of virus and distinguish it from lookalikes. The method holds promise for diagnostics, environmental monitoring and potentially some therapies, an international team of researchers reports February 19 in Nature Communications.

Current methods to identify viruses do so using natural molecules such as antibodies, which can be expensive and unstable. Synthetic nanomaterials could be more stable and cheaper if they can be designed to recognize and bind viruses as effectively as antibodies do.

Read more: News in Brief: Synthetic nanomaterial can recognize viruses | Molecules | Science News.

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