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AIDS Vaccine Breakthrough 417

Doc Ruby writes "Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in MD, USA announced they've disrupted the means by which HIV stops the immune system from attacking it. From the article: 'Scientists say they have found a way to disarm the AIDS virus in research that could lead to a vaccine. Researchers have discovered that if they eliminate a cholesterol membrane surrounding the virus, HIV cannot disrupt communication among disease-fighting cells and the immune system returns to normal. [...] "By stealing cholesterol from the envelope of the virus, we can neutralize the subversion," said Graham. "We've broken the code; we can shut down the type of interference that HIV is having on the immune system."'"
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AIDS Vaccine Breakthrough

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  • by Slashdot Assistant ( 2336034 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @09:41AM (#37507554)
    I have a terrible feeling that in the future we'll be seeing cyborg homeopaths and astrologers traveling in flying cars with little fish decals proudly displayed on the back.
  • by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @09:55AM (#37507624) Homepage

    I am not sure about the recent part, there have always been miracle cancer cures just around the corner for as long as I have been old enough to read the news.
    This is promising, but wake me up when they actually cure/prevent the disease in a person with this.

    And what does curing diseases have to do with cyborg augmentations?

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @09:57AM (#37507638) Journal

    The article hints at a way to attack the virus in the lab. There is absolutely no attempt yet to do the same in a human body. Can it be done safely? While the article says the cholestrerol membrane is not the same as the one that occurs in things related to coronary disease, is it maybe in use somewhere else? Wouldn't be much point in an AIDS vacine that causes you to fall apart in a puddle.

    But the cure for AIDS has been here for a long time. How many people do you know with AIDS? I am not just making another joke about slashdotters not having sex, which isn't funny at all damn you!, but am serious. AIDS was this terrible nightmare from a by gone era when some people who made a lot of noise in the media had unprotected sex with everyone else in the group.

    When people stopped doing that, AIDS practically disappeared to the point that young people again think it is safe to have unprotected sex with anyone.

    The cure is latex, it works, it has been tried and tested. Not science, or as you put it, the futures fault you refuse to take your medicine.

    It has always struck me as odd that it tooks AIDS to get people to start using condoms. Like the other diseases out there are not highly dangerous. This story itself is more likely to kill more people before it can start to cure as people think, "Oh there is a cure, we can fuck around again with no condom". This was the result of all the previous aids blocker stories were people interpreted it as a cure and so didn't care anymore.

    Odd stuff, just because we got cure for food poisoning doesn't mean people started eating rotten food on purpose.

    As for Africa, the aids epidemic is a symthom not the disease itself. Remove aids and the causes for mass infections remain.

    Good news that there is a potential new avenue to create a medicine BUT it not yet here and the underlying problems have not been tackled. Humanity is still its old self.

  • by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:09AM (#37507704)

    Laugh all you like, but if people actually took that advice a few years ago we wouldn't have AIDS anymore.

    That and "Don't share needles".

  • by durrr ( 1316311 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:22AM (#37507768)
    The cure for AIDS, which stands for Aquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome(meaning, that you have it when you have AQUIRED a immunological deficiency in case the name didn't hind at that for you) Is retroviral drugs.

    In case you have problem with neuances i'll spell it out for you. A HIV infection if left untreated will result in AIDS, at which point you're pretty much toast. A HIV infection on its own does not however qualify as AIDS with modern retroviral treatment(or the intial stage without treatment) will keep viral counts low enough that you do not Aquire any ImmunoDefciency.

    Now in fact, that's not a cure for AIDS, it's a postponing of it. As for the cure to HIV, it's not condoms. Condoms are a preventive measure against HIV, not a cure.
    Now if you excuse me I'll have to crash the moon into earth before I have to repeat this rant any more times.
  • by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:26AM (#37507788)

    Abstinence is the worst of all the safe-sex choices.

    The best way to describe it is, "It is 100% effective, when used correctly. When not used correctly it is 0% effective, and among females and males between 14-25 it has a very high failure rate."

    How many non-Slashdot users do you know that are 25 years old and never had sex?

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:26AM (#37507790)
    This only works if:
    1. You can actually stick to it, including those hormone-addled teenage years.
    2. Your spouse (spouses, if you divorce and remarry) managed it as well.
    3. You manage to avoid other means of infection. Rape, accidential exposure to blood.

    It's also rather untidy, having to alter your life in order to avoid disease. Much tidier to simply remove the disease through science.
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:37AM (#37507842) Homepage

    Yeah, because that knowledge was so effective in nearly eradicating chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, trichomoniasis....

  • by Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:42AM (#37507868)

    Fun fact: that was largely because at first it spread amongst gay men quicker then heterosexuals, and the prevailing attitude was "great, this will finally get rid of the gays!"

    Thus governments assumed they didn't need any sort of public education campaigns about it.

    Then at some point, once someone realized straight people also have promiscuous sex (and there are tons more of them so it didn't seem like an epidemic till much later) did we decide to do anything about it.

  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:45AM (#37507886) Homepage

    Aye, and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.

    The problem with this advice – and pretty much every other "just say no" solution to a social or medical problem – is that it ignores human nature... and the empirically documented fact that it simply doesn't work. Some people inevitably will have unprotected sex, will share needles, and will do everything else that they're told not to do. A "solution" that ignores this fact is one that is not 100% effective.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:48AM (#37507908)

    This is promising, but wake me up when they actually cure/prevent the disease in a person with this.

    My thoughts exactly. I don't demean their research, but realistically I'm not that interested in a play-by-play for the development. I'll consider all this a breakthrough when I can go down to Walgreens and get an AIDS vaccine.

  • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:56AM (#37507974) Homepage

    Problem is there is this nasty thing called "religion" whose adherents keep on insisting that condoms are somehow wrong, and that sex is for procreation only.

    A big part of the problem is all those religious jerks that are coming to those third world countries to insist on that. Fortunately they're not getting all that much traction in civilized places, but in third world countries it's devastating.

    Add to that ridiculous notions held by people in some of those countries, like that sex with a virgin will cure you, and you have one horrible mess as a result.

    Kicking out all those missionaries and bringing in some proper education would do wonders.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:48AM (#37508270)

    That and using other people's needles for injecting drugs. It's just plain dumb. Might even say it's evolution in action.

    In action within people or within nations? Because there are several that looked at it calmly and rationally and started distributing clean needles to drug addicts, thus stopping the spread of HIV through that vector. And there are those that didn't, because that could seen as to be helping the undeserving [].

  • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @12:28PM (#37508460)
    That's... 100% backwards. If i had sex with a hundred women (yeah, i'm on slashdot, i wish) got AIDS and died, but that sex resulted in a half dozen kids then natural selection would favor me a hell of a lot more than someone who practiced complete abstinence.

    Natural selection only "cares" (yes, i'm anthropomorphizing it, get over it) if you have kids and how many. It doesn't give a damn if you survive the process or not.
  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @04:17PM (#37509600) Journal

    Laugh all you like, but if people actually took that advice a few years ago we wouldn't have AIDS anymore.

    That and "Don't share needles".

    Spoken like a person who lives in a glass bubble.

    We are sexual people. We don't just "turn sex off", that is not how we work.

    Instead of teaching Abstinence, we should of been teaching about proper sex health, birth control, and protection, instead of just "hoping" people will not have sex. Because people do NOT stop having sex, no matter how much you ask them not to. Can you grasp that simple concept? The religious freaks haven't.

    As for sharing needles, you once again, don't know shit.

    Why did people share needles? Because they were so fucking hard to get. Until the last 10 or so years where they have had "Needle Exchanges" and pharmacies adopting of letting anyone buy needles, it was very hard and expensive to get clean works. And when your a junkie, your money goes to your dope, not to making sure you have clean works.

    Our policies help made these problems, not the people who were stuck because of the policies.

    That fact that you are currently 4 Insightful only shows how stupid most people are about these matters. It's easy to blame others, but the blame lies with all of us for not taking care of the less fortunate in our community, not at them because they have problems that we prefer to ignore.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban