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Medicine Science

Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the uses-for-your-trusty-nanoknife dept.
mrspoonsi sends word that researchers from Temple University have managed to eliminate the HIV-1 virus from human cells for the first time. "When deployed, a combination of a DNA-snipping enzyme called a nuclease and a targeting strand of RNA called a guide RNA (gRNA) hunt down the viral genome and excise the HIV-1 DNA (abstract). From there, the cell's gene repair machinery takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in virus-free cells." While antiretroviral therapy can treat people who are infected with HIV, the immune system is incapable of actually removing the virus, so this is an important step in fighting it. The researchers still have to overcome the problem of delivering the the genetic "toolkit" to each affected cell in a patient's body, and also HIV's high mutation rate.
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Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

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  • Re:AIDS is good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:14PM (#47511491)

    Why can't we quarantine these morons like we used to do with other diseases?

    Because liberals are too nice to force people to spend the rest of their lives in isolation for getting some disease.

    And because conservatives are too cheap to pay for it.

  • Re:AIDS is good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:17PM (#47511507) Journal
    As demonstrated by our victory in the war on drugs, clearly we can just step up enforcement to solve the problem!
  • by structural_biologist (1122693) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @12:02AM (#47513047)
    Here is probably the biggest difference in terms of a drug-development perspective: HIV relies on enzymes that are not normally found in the human body, so it is relatively easy to find drugs that can target these proteins without causing significant side effects. Cancer cells, however, are human cells themselves, so the proteins that drive tumor growth and malignancy are found in healthy cells as well. Thus, developing anti-cancer drugs is not just a matter of finding and inactivating the proteins that drive cancers, but also making sure that inactivating these targets does not harm other non-cancerous cells in the body.

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