Thursday, January 17, 2008

Human Proteins | HIV

The AIDS virus has long been a bane to human existence and up to now there are no known cures yet. But scientist and researchers have been gaining knowledge on how HIV works against use. The latest breakthrough is the discovery that the AIDS virus has to hijack human proteins to do its damage. But scientist until now has known only a few dozen of its targets. Recent Harvard University researches unveiled a surprisingly longer list, an important first step in the trail for new cures. HIV is on its face a simple virus, consisting of just nine genes.

Yet it makes up for that bare-bones structure in a sinister and complex way, by literally taking over the cellular machinery of its victims so it can multiply and then destroy. The proteins it exploits have been dubbed HIV decency factors, and 36 had been discovered. It will take far more research to figure out the role each of these proteins plays in HIV’s life cycle. Most of today’s AIDS drugs work by targeting the HIV virus itself. The US government in August of 2007 has approved sale of the first drug that works by blocking an HIV dependency factor, a cellular doorway called CCR5. The hope is that this longer list of those factors will point toward spots where similar drugs might work.



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