Rutgers research team develops new tool for viewing influenza A cell mutations

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A Rutgers-led research team has developed a tool to monitor real-time mutations for influenza A, a form of the flu, according to a University press release. 

The new gold nanoparticle-based probe will allow virologists to improve learning in how to stop viruses from replicating by measuring viral RNA in live influenza A cells, according to the release. 

What makes the new tool so important is it is the first tool to enable virologists to probe influenza A cells without killing them first, making it possible to view mutations as they occur, according to the release. 

“Our probe will provide important insight on the cellular features that lead a cell to produce abnormally high numbers of viral offspring and on possible conditions that favor stopping viral replication,” said senior author Laura Fabris, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, according to the release.