News from the field of HIV research has been pretty promising of late — this summer, we heard good news that antiretroviral treatment is superbly effective, at least when it's used correctly. And thanks to some video gamers, scientists' understanding of proteins involved in HIV keeps getting better. Now researchers have another tool in their arsenal: Stripping the virus itself of its ability to trick the human immune system.
HIV infection sends the immune system into overdrive and eventually exhausts it, which is what leads to AIDS. But removing cholesterol from HIV seems to cripple the virus' ability to over-activate part of the immune system, so it could potentially lead to a vaccine that lets the adaptive immune system attack and destroy the virus — just as it would if HIV was any other pathogen.
Using software at home, gamers took just three weeks to solve a decade-old enzymatic enigma, in a breakthrough that could have implications for AIDS treatment. The crowdsourced puzzle solution will give scientists new insights in designing antiretroviral drugs, which could stop the AIDS virus from spreading.
A type of statistical analysis used to study high-energy physics and stock market fluctuations could yield a new angle of attack in the fight against the virus that causes AIDS. A surgical strike on specific, steadfast sectors of HIV could lead to new drugs or vaccines, according to a new study.
In a potential breakthrough in the prevention of AIDS, researchers are reporting today that a vaginal gel containing an existing AIDS drug can cut in half a woman's chances of getting HIV from an infected partner.
The women involved in the study used it only 60 percent of the time, and it was still effective -- meaning an even greater prevention rate is possible if it's used more frequently.
A piece of plastic the size of a credit card, combined with a book-size gadget, can diagnose as many deadly diseases as big laboratory machines can—but quickly, cheaply and in remote locations
By Amber AngellePosted 03.23.2010 at 6:28 pm 1 Comment
Most blood tests require shipping vials off to a lab, followed by several days of nail biting. This kit, one of the first that can diagnose multiple diseases on the spot, shrinks an entire lab into a two-piece portable package that even novices can use. A disposable, $1 plastic card, formed through injection molding, holds miniature versions of test tubes and chemicals. In place of technicians or $100,000 machines, a battery-powered, $100 gadget mixes the molecules.
Though the University of Utah in Salt Lake City might not be the first place one would expect to find researchers getting experimental in the bedroom, a team of scientists there have developed a new gel that can quickly shift from liquid to solid, for use in a vaginal condom that more easily protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
By Gunjan SinhaPosted 06.24.2002 at 12:18 pm 0 Comments
AIDS drugs have always shared one trait: They disable HIV by knocking out several of its enzymes. But the virus is so sneaky, it can foil those medications by mutating. Now a new class of drugs attacks the virus in a different way-by protecting the cells that host it.