Vaccine Hope: Government Scientists Discover Powerful HIV Antibody
A potentially big breakthrough toward an AIDS vaccine: U.S. government scientists have identified three antibodies, one of which neutralizes 91% of all HIV strains. This makes it the most potent HIV-killer to date.
"The antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay men, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. Researchers screened 25 million of his cells to find 12 that produced the antibodies. Now the trick will be for scientists to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone's body produce them."
I like the sound of "Donor 45" more than the sound of "Patient Zero". Cautiously optimistic, although the leader of the research warns, "We're going to be at this for a while." I hope Donor 45 doesn't wind up like Henrietta Lacks (pictured), the African-American woman whose "HeLa" cells "helped cure a generation" of various maladies thanks to their unique ability to thrive once reproduced but who never received money, credit or thanks. Of course, Lacks never gave consent for her cells to be used, while Donor 45 did. (Thank you, Donor 45.)