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Gene Discovered That Blocks Construction of HIV

A team of Canadian researchers led by molecular virologist Stephen Barr has discovered a gene, TRIM22, that prevents the HIV virus from assembling in a cell culture:

HivSaid Barr: "When we put this gene in cells, it prevents the assembly of the HIV virus. This means the virus cannot get out of the cells to infect other cells, thereby blocking the spread of the virus...There are always newly emerging drug-resistant strains of HIV so the push has been to develop more natural means of blocking the virus. The discovery of this gene, which is natural in our cells, might provide a different avenue. The gene prevents the assembly of the virus so in the future the idea would be to develop drugs or vaccines that can mimic the effects of this gene. We are currently trying to figure out why this gene does not work in people infected with HIV and if there is a way to turn this gene on in those individuals . We hope that our research will lead to the design of new drugs, or vaccines that can halt the person-to-person transmission of HIV and the spread of the virus in the body, thereby blocking the onset of AIDS."

Researchers discover gene that blocks HIV [physorg]

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  1. You mt want to mention in the heading that it was a team from the University of Alberta in Edmonton CANADA. These little facts always seem to be left out when it is our country, but certaily not when it is the US. Just making a point!!!

    Posted by: dave from edmonton | Mar 3, 2008 9:37:13 AM

  2. Please, please, please let this and/or other new research on new concepts of fighting HIV go forward and show promise. After being HIV positive for 20 years, I am running out of medication options. KNOW THIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS, HIV is not some "treatable" disease. Yes, one's life can be extended and made more livable by medications, but those medications come with a financial and metabolic cost. Do not take HIV lightly! THINK LONG AND HARD (pardon the pun) before you make the life-threatening decision to bareback when having sex. There is no way to fully know the effects of HIV or the treatments for it until you are in it and dependent on the treatments to keep you not just healthful, but ALIVE.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Mar 3, 2008 10:27:42 AM

  3. Like i said before take a 100,000 of us go to the nearest army base that develops biological weapons research. shoot everyone except 1 general and 1 scientist. Ask the general where is the cure for hiv/aids. He'll say there is no such thing. That's when you blow his fucking head off. Then ask the scientist the same question. He'll then take you to a safe, open it and blow the dust off the vials and say here you go. This US Governenment doesn't give a shit about you why should you support it. Killem all. That's my cure.

    Posted by: david | Mar 3, 2008 10:44:06 AM

  4. NotEasilyOffended,

    You do know that in the past 6 months two new HIV meds have been approved by the FDA? Each of these drugs is also the first in a brand new class of drugs, so each one attacks the virus at a point in its life cycle that is not targeted by any other existing drug. And the latest study results released at the US HIV conference in Boston show that both of these drugs appear to be just as good at 48 weeks as they were at 24 weeks—great viral suppression, increases in T-cells, and few and minor side effects.

    Even if you didn't have treatment options a year ago, you have significant options available to you right now.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 3, 2008 12:15:09 PM

  5. @24PLAY and NOTEASILYOFFENDED: I am currently taking those two drugs that were approved within the past 6 months (Intelence and Isentress) as well as Truvada (Emtriva + Viread). I've been taking this regimen for almost exactly one month, which means I need another few weeks on the regimen before we check my viral load, but my doctor says my viral load will almost certainly be undetectable due to the novel way in which these two new drugs work. In the past, I've had a great deal of difficulty taking anti-retrovirals because they made me so incredibly sick to my stomach. With this new regimen the only side effect I've experienced so far is an occasional headache. It has changed my life! I encourage anyone who is HIV positive to ask their doctor about Isentress and Intelence.

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 3, 2008 12:48:16 PM

  6. Peter,

    So happy to hear the new drugs are making your life more pleasant. As for the occasional headache, just-released studies have revealed that the cause was reading Bedwell's posts, not the drugs themselves.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 3, 2008 12:52:57 PM

  7. Is that a picture of an HIV virus covered in chocolate Hershey Kisses?

    Yum. Scrumptious!

    Posted by: Marc in Chicago | Mar 3, 2008 1:07:56 PM

  8. I get so confused by these reports. It seems like every year I hear about some genetic "breakthrough", which is quickly followed by reports that we are no where NEAR an effective cure, vaccine, etc. Why is it taking so long?? And could somebody please direct me to a site that gives some type of chronological listing of the scientific discoveries and what the hell is happening with them? Does that even exist?

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Mar 3, 2008 1:35:02 PM

  9. Soulbrotha, the problem with HIV research is that what works in a cell culture most of the time doesn't work in a living organism, or may work when transfered to complex living things, but ends up killing them.

    We have numerous examples of this over the past 20 years - most recently the HIV vaccine study that seemed so promising in early non-human tests but ended up not working in humans.

    I don't know of any timeline, but the best source of information about all areas of HIV research is The Body:

    Posted by: scott | Mar 3, 2008 4:55:08 PM

  10. Thank you Scott!

    Posted by: soulbrotha | May 4, 2008 6:45:00 PM

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