Monday, February 01, 2010

Heroes Of The Week: HIV Scientists

The scientists that are painstakingly working on solving the HIV/AIDS problem have made a major breakthrough:

Scientists say they have solved a crucial puzzle about the AIDS virus after 20 years of research and that their findings could lead to better treatments for HIV.

British and U.S. researchers said they had grown a crystal that enabled them to see the structure of an enzyme called integrase, which is found in retroviruses like HIV and is a target for some of the newest HIV medicines.

When the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects someone, it uses the integrase enzyme to paste a copy of its genetic information into their DNA, Cherepanov explained in the study published in the Nature journal on Sunday.

Some new drugs for HIV work by blocking integrase, but scientists are not clear exactly how they work or how to improve them. It took more than 40,000 trials for them to come up with one a crystal of sufficiently high quality to allow them to see the three-dimensional structure, they said.
Read the full story on Yahoo! News.


Tater said...

Great news! I hadn't seen this yet, thanks for posting it.

Jodi said...

I really hope this could help with a cure. I lost a very dear friend to AIDS back in 1994.