The Artificial Virus with Nanotech Tentacles

Illustration for article titled The Artificial Virus with Nanotech Tentacles

The first artificial virus was created in 2003 — to cure people, not kill them. A virus can deliver cures to cells just as easily as it delivers death. The problem with artificial viruses is that no one has been able to make them the proper shape to serve as a therapeutic delivery system. But now, Korean scientists have created a virus that could deliver a remedy directly to a patient's cells with far greater efficiency than past attempts. The key lies in those Lovecraftian tentacles extending from the virus.


The Korean researchers used nanotechnology to build the shape of the virus, then added self-assembling molecules. The result: an artificial virus with the filament shapes seen in the image. Such a shape will allow it to last longer inside a person's body.

Why is this important? Medication delivered directly to cells with an artificial virus is like using a professional assassin to take out your target. By comparison, conventional medication techniques are more like running around a city firing a shotgun in random directions. The other major bonus? That thing totally looks like some kind of microscopic spawn of Cthulhu. Image by: Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Filamentous Artificial Virus from a Self-Assembled Discrete Nanoribbon [Angewandte Chemie International Edition] via Nobel Intent.


Jack B. Quick

This smells disaster! Spells, too. Zombie Uprising begin!