The first moment a virus infects a cell it has to deal with multiple cellular defenses. From surviving highly acidic conditions in endosomes to evading the host enzymes that can digest its very genetic code, an invading virus must navigate and eventually subvert the functions of a host cell. This intricate molecular dance has played out time and again for millions of years and modern science is just beginning to understand and appreciate the intricacy of these steps.
A recent paper published in Nature Immunology suggests that there may be even more steps in the virus-host dance than we had imagined. Outside of science fiction, I would have dismissed this mechanism until I read the paper “RNA-mediated interference and reverst transcription control the persistence of RNA viruses in the insect model Drosophila” by Goic and others (1).
Keep reading to find out more about this new exciting mechanism of viral defense. Continue reading