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  • 10 Jul 2010

    HIV vaccine advance as newly discovered antibody neutralizes 91% of strains

    US scientists have announced the discovery of three new powerful antibodies, the strongest of which neutralizes 91& of HIV strains, significantly more than any previously known antibody.

     

    The HIV antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay man, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. The trick for scientists now is to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone's body produce them as well.

    That effort "will require work," said Gary Nabel, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was a leader of the research. "We're going to be at this for a while" before any benefit is seen in the clinic, he said.

    ...

    Donor 45's antibodies didn't protect him from contracting HIV. That is likely because the virus had already taken hold before his body produced the antibodies. He is still alive, and when his blood was drawn, he had been living with HIV for 20 years.

    While he has produced the most powerful HIV antibody yet discovered, researchers say they don't know of anything special about his genes that would make him unique. They expect that most people would be capable of producing the antibodies, if scientists could find the right way to stimulate their production.

    Read the rest.

     

    science | medicine | hiv/aids

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    • Posted By Anthonio 10 Jul 2010 22:43

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/04/henrietta-lacks-cancer-cells

    • Posted By Anthonio 10 Jul 2010 22:43

      :) when you look at some of the figues invloved it becomes all the more astounding: 50 million metric tons of Henrietta's cells grown; NASA launched HeLa into orbit to test how human cells react in zero-gravity; there are over 60,000 HeLa-related scientific studies around the globe. The Guardian also had a piece on it and mentioned the Tuskegee syphilis study which I'd heard of but had forgotten the name... "The treatment of Henrietta and her children reveals an unpleasant aspect of medicine in the US, where African Americans were routinely used – until relatively recently – as the subjects of highly unpleasant sets of experiments. These included the Tuskegee syphilis study, carried out between 1932 and 1972, in which scientists watched how untreated syphilis slowly and painfully killed African American men even though an effective treatment, penicillin, had been developed by the 1940s". http://www.gua

    • Posted By Panti 10 Jul 2010 20:15

      @ Anthonio. Oops! Yes it does work. Take that back...

    • Posted By Panti 10 Jul 2010 20:13

      @ Anthonio. Yes, the HeLa line cells. It's a fascinating story, and I've been meaning to post about her for ages, but like so many things I haven't got round to it yet. But I will eventually! And that link still didn't work! I think it's too long or something. Never mind. I know what you're on about.

    • Posted By Anthonio 10 Jul 2010 19:39

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/books/review/Margonelli-t.html Link didn't post

    • Posted By Anthonio 10 Jul 2010 19:37

      I read about his today it's exciting stuff. Parallels were made with the absolutely incredible story of Henrietta Lacks - which is well worth posting about in its own right - I only just came across her name recently and her legacy to humankind and the appalling way which she and her family were treated. "The first "immortal" human cell line ever grown in culture, that then went on to become one of the most vital tools in medicine, originated from the cells of a poor black woman from Clover, Virginia, a descendant of free slaves. Her cells led to major breakthroughs in everything from polio to Parkinson's disease and treatments for leukemia and hemophilia, and to advancements for studies on in vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping, and yet, as of last year, her body was still in an unmarked grave, her name and history obscured." http://www.

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