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20th-Jul-2008 04:49 pm
Scientist think they've found HIV weakness
HOUSTON, July 16 (UPI) -- HIV researchers at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston said they think they've found the chink in armor of the virus linked to AIDS.

The vulnerable spot is hidden in a protein essential for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, to attach to host cells, the university said in a release.

An HIV vaccine doesn't exist because HIV is a mutating virus.

The scientists said they are focusing on a stretch of amino acids on HIV's envelope protein gp120.

"Unlike the changeable regions of its envelope, HIV needs at least one region that must remain constant to attach to cells. If this region changes, HIV cannot infect cells," said Sudhir Paul, a pathology professor at the UT Medical School.

Paul's group engineered antibodies with enzymatic activity, called abzymes, that can attack the virus's weakness.

"The abzymes recognize essentially all of the diverse HIV forms found across the world. This solves the problem of HIV changeability," Paul said. "The next step is to confirm our theory in human clinical trials."

The theory was in a recent issue of Autoimmunity Reviews and will be presented during the International AIDS Conference Aug. 3-8 in Mexico City.
20th-Jul-2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Oh my God. I really hope this turns out to be the key for the cure.
20th-Jul-2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
How amazing would this be if this was a path to a cure?
20th-Jul-2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
It is amazing how far we come, especially considering what a nasty, trick little thing the virus is.
20th-Jul-2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
it would truly be amazing to me if they were able to inject abzymes into someone without an immune response.

<-- still skeptical
20th-Jul-2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, im not gonna shout it from the hillsides just yet or anything - though i did read an article on this recently that seemed to imply theyd worked out a way to get the body to produce its own abzymes. If i run across it again, ill post it here.
20th-Jul-2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
I saw this earlier in the week. Im hoping it goes somewhere, and isnt just another "maybe!" moment.
21st-Jul-2008 01:31 am (UTC)
I owe you an icon and I thought of you when I took this picture today. Snag if you want to.
21st-Jul-2008 04:07 am (UTC)
I cross my fingers and hope this will amount to something in the future. Maybe they can cure AIDS and I will no longer be paranoid to have sex
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