Busting Up the Infection Cycle of Hepatitis B

Researchers at the University of Delaware have gained new understanding of the virus that causes hepatitis B and the “spiky ball” that encloses its genetic blueprint. They looked at how the capsid–a protein shell that protects the blueprint and also drives the delivery of it to infect a host cell–assembles itself. The capsid is an important target in developing drugs to treat hepatitis B, a life-threatening and incurable infection that afflicts more than 250 million people worldwide.