The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture supports NoroCORE, a multidisciplinary research collaborative of 30 researchers from 25 universities who are joining forces to understand and control food borne virus risks.
Yesterday, Science Magazine published a breakthrough in our understanding of norovirus, 20 years in the making. For the first time, scientists have succeeded in growing norovirus in laboratory cultures of human intestinal epithelial cells. This represents a major step forward in the study of human gastroenteritis viruses, because it establishes a system in which a number of norovirus strains can be grown, allowing researchers to explore and develop procedures to prevent and treat infection and better understand norovirus biology.
Here is the link to the press release from Baylor University, one of the partner universities in the NoroCORE initiative, supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Here also is a NIFA blog post released today by NoroCORE partners Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw and Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus.
NIFA supports the NoroCORE project with a $25 million Agricultural and Food Research Initiative grant. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), established by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, is the nation's premier peer reviewed competitive grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture awards AFRI grants to support research in six Farm Bill categories: Plant health and production and plant products; Animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities.