Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scientist identify human proteins that help HIV

HIV Virus article

In an article that appeared on in January this year, it showed there was new progress in understanding the new treatments for the deadly virus, HIV.
US scientists identified close to 300 human proteins that help the Human Immunodeficiency Virus to reproduce. This provides us with hope that there is a way to fight the condition.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School have identified the new proteins through a process called ‘RNA interference’.

The team of researchers found 273 particular proteins that could provide a way to help cure people with HIV, as the virus develops resistance to existing anti-viral drugs.

Stephen Elledge of the department of genetics of the School says that ‘the anti-viral drugs that already exist are doing a good job of keeping people alive but all therapeutics are suffering from the same problem’. That is, as it continues to mutate, people develop resistance. So the team has decided to take a different approach by focussing on the human proteins exploited by the virus.

He continues by saying that the virus will not be able to mutate further to overcome the drugs that interact with these proteins. It will work on a hypothetical basis, where scientists will be able to predict why HIV needs a particular protein and then test their hypotheses.

He added that the immune cells targeted by HIV contain high concentrations of many of the 273 proteins.

He finishes saying: ‘We’re closing in on a system-level understanding of HIV, which opens new therapeutic avenues’.

Reference : , 30/04/08.

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