Researchers at the University of Delaware, working with colleagues at Indiana University, have gained new insights into the virus that causes hepatitis B — a life-threatening and incurable infection that afflicts more than 250 million people worldwide.

The discovery, which was published April 27 in the journal eLife, reveals previously unknown details about the capsid, or protein shell, that encloses the virus’ genetic blueprint.

Scientists believe that the capsid, which drives the delivery of that blueprint to infect a host cell, is a key target in developing drugs to treat hepatitis B.

“With hepatitis B, the structure of the capsid has been known for years, but we wanted to study its motion and its influence on its surroundings,” said Jodi A. Hadden, an independent postdoctoral researcher in UD’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the lead author of the new paper.

Read the complete press release here: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uod-fcl060418.php