Zika Research Yields Strong Links

Just prior to Peptides International announcing the addition of five new Zika virus proteins to our vast Recombinant Proteins Portfolio and interest they generated, there was a very pertinent paper published online in Cell Stem Cell.  In this report, the authors make the strongest case yet linking the Zika virus infection and babies are being born with severe brain defects, including microcephaly, lissencephaly, (smooth brains lacking normal folds), and hydrocephaly, which often results in areas of the brain that have died and subsequently atrophied.  

The article details expression analysis indicating the AXL protein as a candidate Zika virus (ZIKV) entry receptor in neural stem cells.  AXL is highly expressed by stem cells in human radial glial cells, endothelial cells, astrocytes, and microglia in developing human cortex.  Interestingly, this receptor is also highly expressed by progenitor cells in developing retina, and some of these babies that have the other brain defects, present with severe eye defects too.  

Since being declared a global health emergency in February 2016 by the World Health Organization, research directed at this outbreak is never more urgent.  Hopefully, contributions such as the ones offered by this paper and future inquiries will mitigate instances of infection with their devastating consequences.

Shortly after writing this PepTalk, it was reported that the first US death due to the Zika virus occurred in Puerto Rico and the island currently has 683 confirmed cases overall.

Industry News , Recombinant Proteins

Robert Brousseau

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Robert Brousseau, the Director of Marketing and Catalog Sales Development at Peptides International, has a wide range of responsibilities that include maintaining the Peptides International brand integrity and creating and implementing all materials related to marketing the company's product line. He is also tasked with the catalog portfolio sales.  Since joining the company in 2004, he has incorporated media that now includes printed material such as product brochures and the long-running PEPNET newsletter, along with the company Website, social media, email and other outlets.  Additionally, he assists the staff with IT issues they encounter.  Bob has a background in graphic design, marketing, and advertising, in addition to project management and packaging.  He received his B.A. in Art from the University of Louisville, with additional post-graduate studies in education and design.