The fight against the world’s worse chronic diseases is continuous. AIDS is one of them, and like cancer, it spreads more and more chaotically, every day. However, the US National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have worked on a project that have succeeded in coming up with a new idea that might revolutionize science and everything that doctors know about the HIV virus so far. A genetically engineered protein that has been created by a Scripps Research-led team inactivates virtually all strains of the virus. This kind of approach has not been tested yet on humans, but in tine it could become a promise to all of those who got infected with this terrifying virus that they can protect from it differently and more effectively.
More than 30 scientists took part of the study, including: Scripps Florida, was co-first author along with Lisa M. Kattenhorn of Harvard Medical School’s New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, Mass. It has been published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The vaccine that has been used against this virus has been born from the desire of the scientists to know what it was about the pathogen’s shape-shifting abilities that made it so strong and invincible. Not all antibodies that were found in order to neutralize the strains of the virus have proven efficiency. As a consequence, they tried finding another solution to the problem and they found it in gene therapy. The immune system of the body should not be stimulated and boosted, but bypassed completely.
Monkeys and rats have been the central characters of the story. Viruses that don’t threaten their life have been used by researchers in the interest of changing the genome of the animal so that its cells produce molecules capable of neutralizing the HIV virus.
Shane Crotty, a vaccine researcher at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology believes that even the study is exciting and creative, finding the right questions and giving the best answers to science. The study is preliminary and all of these theories must be tested thoroughly. However, there are and there will also be many obstacles to get the permission to try the gene therapy in people.
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