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HIV and AIDS

Dr Marc Pellegrini (left) and Mr Simon Preston, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute i...

Australian scientists may have discovered a vital key to curing HIV and other immune related illnesses by boosting the body’s immune response. A team of researchers led by Dr. Marc Pellegrini from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, successfully cured a HIV-like infection from mice by boosting the function of cells vital to their immune system.  Read More

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte

An HIV-infected man who received stem cell treatment for leukemia from a donor with natural resistance to HIV infection appears to have been cured of HIV, according to a report on the NAM aidsmap website. The treatment, which was carried out in 2007, opens the possibility of a cure for HIV infection through the use of genetically engineered stem cells.  Read More

An illustration of a telomerase molecule (Image: Sierra Sciences, LLC)

For many scientists who know about such things, the question isn’t whether the first person to live forever has been born, but how old they are. The basis for this belief is that, if a person can survive the next 20 or 30 years, then breakthroughs in biotechnology will easily allow them to extend their lifespan – not to mention their quality of life – to 125 years. From that point, the advances will keep coming to allow the prolonging of life indefinitely. One of the first steps towards such a reality has just been announced by a group of researchers who have discovered the first compound that activates an enzyme called telomerase in the human body.  Read More

The atomic structure of the antibody VRC01 (blue and green) binding to HIV (grey and red) ...

Research efforts to find individual antibodies that can neutralize HIV strains have been difficult because the virus continuously changes its surface proteins to evade recognition by the immune system. As a consequence of these changes, an enormous number of HIV variants exist worldwide. However, there are a few surface areas that remain nearly constant across all variants of HIV and scientists have now discovered two potent human antibodies that attach to one of these sites and can stop more than 90 percent of known global HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory.  Read More

A number of HIV particles, or virions that could be targeted and killed using engineered h...

A proof-of-principle study has demonstrated that it is possible to engineer human blood stem cells into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells. The result is the equivalent of a genetic vaccine which is not only good news in the fight against HIV - the process could also be used against a range of chronic viral diseases.  Read More

University of Utah bioengineer Patrick Kiser analyzes polymers used to develop a new kind ...

The statistics paint a grim picture - an estimated 2.0 million people, including 270,000 children, died of AIDS in 2007 and at that time 33 million people around the globe were living with HIV, two thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa. New advancements in microbicides may help to improve this horrific scenario with U.S. researchers undertaking trials for a specially designed ‘molecular condom’ to prevent the spread of HIV in women.  Read More

New developments in laser treatment

November 7, 2007 Current laser treatments for virus and disease can be more harmful than effective, sometimes causing damage to DNA and even skin cancer. Now groundbreaking research has developed a new technique that uses lasers to destroy viruses and bacteria, including AIDS and Hepatitis, without causing harm to the human cells of the infected person.  Read More

The Molecular Condom - vaginal gel releases Anti-HIV drug when exposed to semen

December 13, 2006 Once likened to “taking a shower with a raincoat on”, the condom may be the safest method of protection during sex, but it significantly detracts from the experience. Last week we featured the spray-on condom designed to offer a better fit but we’re betting that new work being done by University of Utah scientists will get a lot of attention due to its likelihood of overcoming the many shortcomings of the condom. It is in fact a "molecular condom" for use by women. The liquid is vaginally inserted daily and prevents AIDS by turning into a gel-like coating and when exposed to semen, returning to liquid form and releasing an antiviral drug. The ultimate hope for this technology is to protect women and their unborn or nursing children from the AIDS virus, but the molecular condom is five years away from tests in humans and roughly 10 years until it might be in widespread use.  Read More

Potential HIV-AIDS cure - drug found to kill multiple HIV strains

February 9, 2006 Vanderbilt University, Brigham Young University and Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals have announced that one of a family of compounds, called Ceragenins (or CSAs) shows potent virucidal activity in in vitro laboratory tests against multiple strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. CSAs were invented by Dr. Paul D. Savage of Brigham Young University's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and exclusively licensed to Ceragenix. In data previously presented by Dr. Savage and other researchers, CSAs have been shown to have broad spectrum antibacterial activity. Dr. Derya Unutmaz, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tested several CSAs in his laboratory for their ability to kill HIV directly and whilst cautious, acknowledged that CSAs could be the breakthrough technology to combat HIV/AIDS researchers the world has been waiting for.  Read More

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