The relatively simple structure of the picornaviruses has made them ideal subjects for study by molecular biologists and a great deal is now known concerning their replication. This does not mean, however, that all the fundamental questions have now been answered. The discovery of VPg opened completely new avenues of research and there is still a lot we do not know about this small protein; for example, the portion of the RNA that codes for it is still a mystery. The role of the poly(C) tract in FMDV and the cardioviruses is also difficult to explain since it is absent from both the entero- and the rhinoviruses. These are just a few of the questions which have arisen during the last 5 years and hopefully future work will provide some of the answers.


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