Scientists at John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK managed to create Cowpea mosaic virus particles that are missing their genetic material, turning them into drug ferrying containers that may prove useful against cancer and other localized diseases. Unlike other research teams that tried to remove genetic material from already existing virus particles, the current research involved assembling these particles out of precursor chemicals without ever having to implant them with any genes.
From the abstract:
Empty (devoid of RNA) viruslike particles (eVLPs) of Cowpea mosaic virus can now be obtained readily. CPMV can encapsulate, within the protein capsid, cobalt or iron oxide by environmentally benign processes. The external surface also remains amenable to chemical modification. The development of eVLPs for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents is now a reality.
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Abstract in Small: Cowpea Mosaic Virus Unmodified Empty Viruslike Particles Loaded with Metal and Metal Oxide