HIV Vaccine

There’s an amazing paper that’s just been published on PLoS biology…

Basically, they studied the genes of Old world monkeys which had been found to be resistant to HIV infection, the resistance is caused by the recently identified theta-defensins (cyclic peptides which prevent viruses entering cells).

They then found theta-defensin genes (89.4% intact!) in human ‘junk’ DNA (genes which over our evolution have become inactive due to a ‘nonsense’ mutation).

Astonishingly, they were able to reactivate the gene using aminoglycosides to ignore the nonsense mutation, and produced functional peptides which are active against HIV (in vitro).

Not only is this a great step towards HIV protection but the techniques could unlock all manner of genetic fuctions that we are currently unaware of.

95% of our DNA is inactive ‘junk’ DNA- that’s a lot of potential.
Perhaps we’ll finally be getting that race of super mutants that sci-fi has so thoroughly prepared us for…

7 Responses to “HIV Vaccine”

  1. Seb says:

    “Perhaps we’ll finally be getting that race of super mutants that sci-fi has so thoroughly prepared us for…”

    I very much hope not, the super mutants in Fallout 3 are pretty bloody frightening..!

  2. Indri says:

    While I totally agree with the prsimee that BT headsets are dorky, the rationale- a remote control for an object that is for the majority of users, located elsewhere on your own body (why reach?) afffords the miraculous ability to be handless. At the risk of starting the first Amish tech-blog, I recall ancient legends of letter mail, telegrams, rotary telephones and facsimile machines, each one a breakthrough in communications technology. Hah, I say! Which of those allows you to train your pet lemur to effectively operate it? None. What good is digital if you still need digits? Surely this headset fad is marketed at egomaniacs, nerds, idiots and/or scalding victims. Clearly not a large enough demographic, even for doomsday misanthropes like me. This crass ploy will surely crumble under its own Irrelevance.But add a brain tumor

  3. Juhi says:

    and let’s not forget that wernaig a Bluetooth is fairly effective birth control. I think I speak for many women, but a guy wernaig a Bluetooth device is as attractive as a guy wernaig Drakkar Noir. Not very.

  4. That insight’s perfect for what I need. Thanks!

  5. It’s a pleasure to find someone who can identify the issues so clearly

  6. Eve says:

    I found myself nodding my noggin all the way thougrh.

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