could junk dna battle hiv?

How cool is this? Maybe we have the necessary means to fight HIV/AIDS within ourselves. It’s actually very encouraging to me and it reaffirms how much potential the human body has within.

About 95% of the human genome has once been designated as “junk” DNA. While much of this sequence may be an evolutionary artifact that serves no present-day purpose, some junk DNA may function in ways that are not currently understood. The conservation of some junk DNA over many millions of years of evolution may imply an essential function that has been “turned off.” Now scientists say there’s a junk gene that fights HIV. And they’ve discovered how to turn it back on.

What these scientists have done could give us the first bulletproof HIV vaccine. They have re-awakened the human genome’s latent potential to make us all into HIV-resistant creatures, and hey’ve published their ground-breaking research in PLoS Biology.

via Darwin’s Radio: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV.

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man supposedly cured of leukemia by stem cell transplant

artsurgerygiWell this IS something! I really hope (as I always do) that this could lead to a permanent cure of HIV and Leukemia. The only additional thing I would wish for is that the big drug companies see none of the profit from this breakthrough. I’m convinced there exists a non money making cure to AIDS. But I suppose that it would be wide knowledge by now.

“The patient is fine,” said Dr. Gero Hutter of Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany. “Today, two years after his transplantation, he is still without any signs of HIV disease and without antiretroviral medication.”

The case was first reported in November, and the new report is the first official publication of the case in a medical journal. Hutter and a team of medical professionals performed the stem cell transplant on the patient, an American living in Germany, to treat the man’s leukemia, not the HIV itself.

However, the team deliberately chose a compatible donor who has a naturally occurring gene mutation that confers resistance to HIV. The mutation cripples a receptor known as CCR5, which is normally found on the surface of T cells, the type of immune system cells attacked by HIV.

via Man appears free of HIV after stem cell transplant – CNN.com.

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HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study

Due to this study, scientists have found out that HIV can travel quickly through regular, healthy genital tissue. Originally HIV was thought to find a break in cells, a blister or something similar to use to infect the body. It’s good to know more about how HIV works, but this discovery also indicates that it’s easier to contract HIV than once thought.

HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study

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