New discoveries make it harder for HIV to hide from drugs

The virus that causes AIDS is chameleon-like in its replication. As HIV copies itself in humans, it constantly mutates into forms that can evade even the best cocktail of current therapies. Understanding exactly how HIV cells change as they reproduc…

Scientists Uncover HIV Escape Route from Drugs and Vaccines

Virologists at Jefferson Medical College may have discovered a new way by which HIV, the AIDS virus, can evade both anti-viral drugs and vaccines. Researchers had reported last summer that a protein called CEM15 is a natural inhibitor of HIV, acting as a brake on HIV’s replication. They also showed that an HIV-encoded protein, Vif, or Virion infectivity factor, counteracts CEM15. Vif, in effect, is a shield to protect HIV from a host cell’s defenses.

Sometimes in science no news is good news

Sometimes finding out what doesn?t matter in science is just as important as finding what does. That?s the case for a study that looked at the function of the viral protein, MTase1. Researchers found that the rate of virus replication in tissue culture was not affected when MTase1 was removed. The finding is important as researchers look for what proteins are essential and how they function in cells, potentially providing answers to everything from insect control to the control of human diseases such as smallpox.

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