News about the mechanism of interaction between neurons and Zika virus

Researchers in Brazil mobilized to try to understand the correlation between Zika infection in pregnant women and the development of microcephaly in the babies. Now first reports indicate that the virus attacks preferentially neuron precursor cells inside the uterus. I am not biologist, but it seems that the study used some pretty sophisticated in vitro techniques to obtain these results. This case is an important demonstrations of the correlation between applied and fundamental research. The case has an obvious importance for public health not only in Brazil, but also for the whole world, but it was only possible because someone in the past investigated these neuronal precursors cells and developed the techniques which are used in the study.  As I already mentioned before, I prefer to call this kind of research “useful research”, instead of applied (or fundamental). These two terms sell the idea that these kinds or researches can be disconnected.

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