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AIDS Roundup

December 1, 2006

Scientists are finding new ways to fight the AIDS virus.


Fighting HIV with HIV. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Killing the AIDS virus is difficult, because it hides in human immune cells. So scientists are now taking disabled AIDS viruses that can’t cause disease, and inserting AIDS fighting genes into them. Like trojan horses, they slip into human immune cells, and prevent deadly AIDS viruses from reproducing. Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine tried the technique on five patients with encouraging results.

Another way to stop AIDS is to simply destroy immune cells infected with the virus. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine demonstrated this in mice. The researchers create antibodies that can find and lock onto virus proteins found on the surface of infected cells. They outfit the antibodies with deadly radioactive isotopes. Injected into the body, the antibodies track down infected cells and the radiation destroys them.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.