The adverse side effects of certain hepatitis C medications can now be replicated and observed in Petri dishes and test tubes, thanks to a research team led by a Penn State University scientist. The new method helps to understand recent failures of hepatitis C antiviral drugs in some patients in clinical trials, and it also could help to identify medications that eliminate all adverse effects. The team's findings, which will be published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, may help to pave the way toward the development of safer and more-effective treatments for hepatitis C, as well as other pathogens such as SARS and West Nile virus. This image illustrates an antiviral drug causing adverse effects. The skull and crossbones represent the antiviral drug that gets into the viral RNA, but also into the healthy mitochondrial RNA, causing side effects and problems.