How a Zika Virus Breakthrough Vindicates Stem Cell Research

March 17, 2016

(Huffington Post) – Understanding the mechanism of Zika could open a pathway to preventing the condition in infants. Working together in an important experiment, scientists at several universities have found that the virus attacks stem cells early in pregnancy. Some of these stem cells will become neurons and form the cortex, the outer layer of the brain. It seems that the virus invades these cells, killing some and preventing others from dividing, which they must do to populate the fetal brain.