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Researchers Modify T-Cells, Make Them HIV Resistant

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the changing-the-locks dept.

Biotech 171

DieNadel writes to share that naturally occurring proteins called "zinc fingers" are being used in a new approach to AIDS treatment. Using modified T-Cells with the zinc fingers, researchers at the Pennsylvania School of Medicine have shown a reduction in viral load in mice. "'By inducing mutations in the CCR5 gene using zinc finger proteins, we've reduced the expression of CCR5 surface proteins on T cells, which is necessary for the AIDS virus to enter these immune system cells,' explains first author Elena Perez, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Penn. 'This approach stops the AIDS virus from entering the T cells because it now has an introduced error into the CCR5 gene.'"

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W00T (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036581)

First? Say it ain't so...

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036603)

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038053)

Make them Goatse resistant? Slashdot could use some of that

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (2, Interesting)

Smartcowboy (679871) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038799)

What could possibly go wrong?

So what? (-1, Troll)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036613)

Don't they realize that by 2011 we're going to be all out of zinc? They need to be good libs and learn to make this out of a renewable resource, like cow crap... or Corn! or SWITCHGRASS!

Re:So what? (3, Funny)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036671)

They need to be good libs


As opposed to what, being a good "con" and doing what?

I would like some background to what I can only parse as a retarded attempt to politicize with a statement that must've taken a whole 5 braincells to parrot.

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037267)

They need to be good libs

As opposed to what, being a good "con" and doing what?

Conning people?

Re:So what? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038811)

As opposed to a good 'con' who would try to stick it in their SUV and burn it!

The statement was sarcasm aimed at a combination of the 'zinc shortgage' story earlier today and the mostly 'lib' agenda of conserving resources.

Re:So what? (2, Interesting)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036683)

These guys [idtechex.com] claim we have 20-30 years at the current rare we're using Zinc. It's the 23rd most abundant element in the earth's crust. I don't see this being an issue right now (2011), but will inevitably be one

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036735)

The world is going to end in 2012 anyway so why worry.

Re:So what? (3, Funny)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037129)

Because....

We run out of zinc, jackass!!!

Re:So what? (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038107)

No, we run out of zinc in 2011 and the end of the world comes in 2012.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037361)

I know this is offtopic to the article, but ontopic to the parent post.

Just because the Mayans calendar ended then means what exactly? They didn't even invent, let alone UTILIZE the wheel...

I'm glad this was modded funny and not informative, every time someone says this I die a little inside...

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037671)

Just because the Mayans calendar ended then means what exactly? They didn't even invent, let alone UTILIZE the wheel...

      Not only that but they were able to predict "the end of the world" and yet utterly failed to foresee the end of their own civilization?

Re:So what? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037743)

I know this is offtopic to the article, but ontopic to the parent post.

Just because the Mayans calendar ended then means what exactly? They didn't even invent, let alone UTILIZE the wheel...

I'm glad this was modded funny and not informative, every time someone says this I die a little inside...

The Mayan calendar isn't ending... they're just adding a new digit... much like what will happen in the year 9999 for us.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038711)

I know this is offtopic to the article, but ontopic to the parent post.

Don't apologize... it's the way discussions are supposed to work. Too bad that more mods don't realize it.

This post is, sadly, only tangentally ontopic since I'm replying to something that wasn't the main point of your poost. Alas.

Re:So what? (2, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037847)

The world's gonna end on Diablo III's release date?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037965)

Partially true. In 2112, we come back and discover the guitar and rock the world. -Rush, circa 1976.

Re:So what? (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037709)

...we have 20-30 years at the current rare we're using Zinc.

Well, if zinc runs out, HIV will be the least of our worries; none of us can survive [nih.gov] without it.

Seriously, the amount of zinc in these "zinc fingers" (which already exist in our bodies) is a trace amount.

Re:So what? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038987)

The Mayan calendar isn't ending... they're just adding a new digit... much like what will happen in the year 9999 for us.

So...this is supposed to be the Mayan Y2k? I hope they still find some PALENQUOBOL programmers..

Re:So what? (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037507)

So what? Cure for Aids, now I can have my orgy. Its true, no one gets Aids when there using there (Zinc) fingers. Hear god: reality.net.ConnectException: Resource unavailable prior to the Eschaton.

Zinc you say? (3, Funny)

nekdut (74793) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036617)

Aren't we having a zinc shortage [slashdot.org] ? Get it from these fingers!!

Re:Zinc you say? (2, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037963)

I knew all those old pennies would come in handy for something.

Re:Zinc you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038337)

You can have my zinc when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Zinc finger, matrin type 3 (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036637)

This gene encodes a protein containing three zinc finger domains and a nuclear localization signal. The mRNA and the protein of this gene are upregulated by wildtype p53 and overexpression of this gene inhibits tumor cell growth, suggesting that this gene may have a role in the p53-dependent growth regulatory pathway. Alternative splicing of this gene results in two transcript variants encoding two isoforms differing in only one amino acid.

OMGZombies! (5, Funny)

gorckat (960852) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036641)

Oh wait...T-cells. I thought it said T-Virus.

Re:OMGZombies! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036879)

braaaaaiiiiinnnnnssss

Re:OMGZombies! (2, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037207)

You're probably American, but you might be glad to know that there's a place in England where people could quite literally say "t' t-cells attack t' virus". Not quite what you're looking for, but close enough!

Now, put t' kettle on!

Re:OMGZombies! (4, Funny)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037373)

Ah yes but we don't pronounce it T just t' so its easy to tell the difference.

Re:OMGZombies! (1)

Domo-Sun (585730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038561)

Now, put t' kettle on!

And pass me the zinc fingers. Mmmm! They're delicious.

Re:OMGZombies! (1)

vandelais (164490) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038383)

Oh wait...Mr T-cells. I thought it said A-team.

law of unintended consequences... (5, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036723)

what *else* do these surface proteins on the T cell do?

maybe there is something those altered structures do that we will miss when they stop performing their function...

not everything in the body is superfluous like the appendix or wisdom teeth.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (5, Funny)

troybob (1178331) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036805)

OMG you had better try to get in touch with these researchers, because this probably did not occur to them at all!

Re:law of unintended consequences... (4, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037005)

After having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for about 12 years I can only say: You'd be amazed.
T-cells are part of the immune system, and perhaps you remember this recent infamous TGN1412 experiment involving T-Cells [wikipedia.org]

Re:law of unintended consequences... (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037219)

So they just modify that a bit and then OMG Zombies... Seriously though, they obviously need to extend the type of testing done on animals to include the not so sterile lab rat. It is fascinating to think all that might be possible. I believe it is all the more important to remember that we don't understand half of what we think we do and the need to build in steps to test things we think aren't necessary.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037309)

No, not zombies, corpses. Animal testing doesn't help much here, as the T-cells have more differences than just 'that bit' between species anyway. Somewhere along the line there has to be a so called 'First In Human' experiment, and when messing with the immune system that can really be a problem.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037763)

No, not zombies, corpses.

So... pre-zombies?

Re:law of unintended consequences... (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036931)

Considering AIDS eventually leads to painful death, what function would this hinder that would make things worse?

Re:law of unintended consequences... (3, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037941)

Well, I am no AIDS expert but from what I understand is HIV does not really kill anybody. AIDS the resulting condition of HIV, is Auto Immune Difficency Sydrome. Basically you immune system stops working and all the other little virus out there take over start to take over all your other cells and with nothing to stop them; that kills you.

So if you screw-up someones immune system in the name of HIV proofing and that causes it to not work then they will have AIDS anyway even if you do manage to kill off the HIV infection. So yea if it turns out these things are "important" you might destroy the immune system faster then HIV would have.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (1)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038499)

I have always loved that explanation. The first thing that came to my mind when I first heard it, was that falling does not kill you, no matter how far, only the sudden stop at the bottom.

InnerWeb

Re:law of unintended consequences... (4, Informative)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036985)

FTFA -

Some people are born with a mutation on their CCR5 gene and therefore do not have a working CCR5 receptor on the surface of their T cells. These rare individuals are immune to HIV infection and seemingly are not affected by the non-functional CCR5 protein. The zinc finger approach aims to mimic this natural immunity.

It would appear that these surface proteins are "superfluous", or at least not really necessary.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (3, Insightful)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037293)

It would appear that way. That doesn't mean they are superfluous. This needs years of research and long term trials before this will be marketable. When you're fucking with the immune system, you better be goddamn sure you're not fucking with the wrong thing.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (2, Interesting)

swid27 (869237) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037469)

I didn't RTFA, but I'm guessing they're referring to CCR5-delta32 [wikipedia.org] . While somewhat rare overall, it's most common in people of Northern European descent. The good news: increased HIV and smallpox resistance. The bad news: decreased overall T cell function and West Nile resistance.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (2, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037853)

Yes, that's it. The article abstract is a lot more intelligible than the press release:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18587387 [nih.gov]

They're using Zinc Finger Nucleases:

http://www.zincfingers.org/scientific-background.htm [zincfingers.org]

to target and disrupt the CCR5 gene.

Re:law of unintended consequences... (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037073)

whatever function they have, it's probably not as important as not dying of AIDS

Re:law of unintended consequences... (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037993)

whatever function they have, it's probably not as important as not dying of AIDS

Upon what data do you base that assumption? Is not dying of AIDS more important than not dying in screaming agony? [naturalnews.com]

Re:law of unintended consequences... (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038691)

Upon what data do you base that assumption?

considering the kind of death that is in store for someone who is severely immuno-compromised, the adverse effects from this treatment would need to be pretty bad to be considered worse. that and there isn't any convincing evidence to my knowledge that this method is any worse than doing nothing to mitigate the effects of an HIV infection which doesn't mean that there can't be any that we don't know about, it means that we would need more testing- in any case, dismissing this out of hand before determining its effectiveness/safety relative to other treatments is foolish at best.

They're chemokine receptors. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24039015)

CCR5 is a receptor for a class of signaling molecules used to coordinate action between T cells, other white blood cells, and other cells (like endothelial cells) that sense infection.

You can buy mice that have had CCR5 nuked entirely. They're slightly more susceptible to fungal and viral infections (HIV is an exception because it actually uses CCR5 to get into the cell), and slightly more resistant to damage caused by immune system malfunction (like asthma).

The reason they're not totally immune-disabled is that the CCRs are highly redundant. Most of the CCR5 signals will also be picked up by CCR1, CCR3, etc. Which is not to say this treatment is guaranteed to work (TGN1412 worked great in monkeys, and then killed people), and hacking the CCR5 gene in every cell in the body is not really feasible, but it's still interesting.

Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome (4, Funny)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036727)

Haven't we learned not to modify T-Cells already?

Re:Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036977)

Haven't we learned not to modify T-Cells already?

This isn't informative; it's from star trek. mod as insightful or funny.

Re:Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038429)

In that episode, mutant Barclay could have kicked Spider-man's ass!

Thats sick (2, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036761)

sorry. I had to.

This is probably good news (4, Insightful)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036793)

HIV is a polymorphic virus - it changes its "shape" often, making vaccines difficult / impossible to create. Sure, they can create a vaccine for variation 32b, but there's a bunch of variants and new ones show up from time to time. A nice simple AIDS vaccine that you can give to kids is - as far as we know at this time - impossible.


But this technology may provide a way to defend against this virus. By changing the "shape" of our T-cells it will prevent the virus from recognizing its target. This would render it ineffective and be effective against the numerous variants.

Of course, this is still early in the development cycle. There's always the chance of unintended consequences...

Re:This is probably good news..waiting to fark up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036975)

Okay, great. We're injecting rats with aids, modifying their dna, ....I am just waiting for petsmart to issue a recall on rabid big-ass-badger sized rats that infect people with a mutant form of aids through IR-eye contact channels.

I'm too lazy to logon.
-Mazanoid

Re:This is probably good news (5, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036989)

But this technology may provide a way to defend against this virus. By changing the "shape" of our T-cells it will prevent the virus from recognizing its target. This would render it ineffective and be effective against the numerous variants

This does not make the T-cell invisible to HIV, it sets a trap.

T Cell (in sexy voice): How about it, Mr. HIV, do you want to come into my place?
HIV: Om nom nom let me put my arms around you baby... wait, where the fuck do I put my left arm? I can't penetrate without both arms around you!
T cell: All your binding proteins are belong to me.
HIV: I'm going to go hit on someone else. Let go of my right arm, you bastard!
T cell: Om nom nom

Well ok, it's a stretch, the T cell doesn't eat the virus at the end.

But the zinc fingers don't disguise the T-cell, they keep the T-cell from expressing one of the antigens on its surface. So instead of the two binding sites needed for the T-cell to be infected, it only shows one.

HIV and dating ... (1)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037387)

I find your dating example pretty ackward,
I've never seen a sexy T-cell before but anyways...

Re:This is probably good news (4, Funny)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037441)

Couldn't you have put it as an analogy that does not involve "making out"? Something slashdotters can understand, like, a car analogy?

Re:This is probably good news (1)

Domo-Sun (585730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038667)

Or a "Libraries of Congress" analogy.

Re:This is probably good news (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037681)

Perhaps I am simply ignorant, but is it impossible that mutations in the AIDS virus could adapt to this? Also, how can one change the genetic code in all of the existing cells in the body to produce only the new and improved T-Cells and even if we could do that what other side effects might that have? I seem to remember from a couple of articles that attempts to alter genetic code of living humans (through viruses for example) has had limited success and resulted in death of the patient in some cases. I suppose that it is analogous to altering the byte code of a program while it is executing in memory, something which is dangerous at best and generally results in a crash (or in the case of living things death). Unfortunately there is no reboot for living organisms as far as we know.

Re:This is probably good news (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037787)

Retroviruses do this DNA-mutation on the fly all the time.

That's why they end up as part of our lineage's DNA.

Re:This is probably good news (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038483)

It's not possible* for the HIV virus to adapt to this, as it requires two different binding sites. If you remove one of the sites, binding and insertion is impossible.

As for changing the genetic code, that's not what you're doing. Instead you are putting out a honeypot to attract the virus. The virus can still infect normal cells, but the modified cells can't be infected -- if you have enough of them, then the normal cells can go about their business. Here's a very simplified model:

Say each generation of HIV has an infection success rate of 50%, and produces three viruses when it lyses its host cell. Each generation would then result in a 50% increase in number of viruses (N*0.5*3). Let's say that you have a 1:1 ratio of normal cells to modified cells. Any viruses that try to infect the modified cells fail, and are taken out of circulation. Now each generation will have a population of only 75% of the prior generation (N*0.5*0.5*3). You can practically get rid of the virus over many successive generations.

* By not possible, I mean very very unlikely. It would require wholesale change of the virus structure.

Re:This is probably good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038023)

I'm not sure exactly how this will in any way improve on existing AIDS therapy. We already have a drug called maraviroc (Selzentry) which is a CCR5 antagonist, preventing HIV from using CCR5 to gain entry into cells. The problem with this drug is that CCR5 is only one of two co-receptors on the surface of CD4 cells which allows HIV to bind. A person's CD4 cells can have only CCR5, only CXCR4 (the other co-receptor), or both. Many strains of HIV can use either CCR5 or CXCR4 to gain entry into CD4 cells. Some people are "fortunate" enough to ONLY have CCR5 on their CD4 cells, and in these people, maraviroc can effectively prevent HIV from binding to cells. However, in people with both CCR5 and CXCR4 or CXCR4 alone on their CD4 cells, HIV can still bind to and infect cells. Reading the article, I don't see how this new method would be any less susceptible to this characteristic of HIV than maraviroc.

What would make a huge leap (IMO) in HIV therapy is if this group could develop a method of introducing mutations using these zinc fingers so that they change CXCR4, and this new therapy along with maraviroc could potentially inhibit HIV binding to any CD4 cell.

Re:This is probably good news (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038981)

This is /. Did you really think anyone would really get the dating analogy?

Next time, use a car analogy, please.

Re:This is probably good news (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037057)

How about a virus that binds only to cells that express both the T-cell receptor and whatever HIV uses to connect to the T-cell receptor? Presumably, only infected cells would express both - the former because that's how HIV got in there, and the latter because HIV is being produced and HIV itself uses the cell's surface as a coat when budding.

Now, HIV may mutate so that the virus wouldn't recognize the "T-cell inverse", but there's a limit to how much it can mutate before the receptor fails to connect to ordinary T-cells. After all, HIV has to work - it can't just mutate beyond all limits.

That virus would have to contain redundancy checks so it doesn't combine with HIV itself, so we'll have to wait for the perfection of nanotech, but unless I'm missing something, it should work. Then again, IANAImmunologist.

Re:This is probably good news (1)

omnipresentbob (858376) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037437)

Anybody else think of I am Legend [wikipedia.org] ? The recent movie, that is - not the book.

call me a skeptic, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037721)

isn't modifying our t-cells a little dangerous? i would think that we need the receptor sites that they are suppressing, nature usually doesn't keep things around that we don't have a need for!!!

Worst summary ever... (4, Informative)

JDevers (83155) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036829)

Talk about completely misreading even the one paragraph blurb. Zinc fingers are a large group of protein sub-structures which are used to interact with DNA. This group used them to induce a specific mutation which now seems to be HIV resistant How long this will last is really up in the air though, HIV and all other RNA viruses evolve very quickly.

Re:Worst summary ever... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037607)

In fairness, the blurb here comes straight from the godawful UPenn press release, which refers to "minute, naturally occurring proteins called zinc fingers". The "minute" is also odd.

How long this will last is really up in the air though, HIV and all other RNA viruses evolve very quickly.

That doesn't seem to be a problem with the naturally-occurring CCR5 variant, though.

Re:Worst summary ever... (1)

JDevers (83155) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038279)

The naturally occurring variant is such a small percent of the population as to not be an evolutionary pressure for HIV, if huge numbers of people all of a sudden basically have this gene that pressure will increase quite a bit.

Re:Worst summary ever... (1)

cleojo42 (573624) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037627)

So glad that someone pointed this out. There is actually a naturally occuring mutation in this gene that renders people resistant. It is more predominant in the western european population. Summaries like this are why the US population doesn't know anything about science.

Re:Worst summary ever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037729)

Clearly they do not evolve very quicky because evolution is only a theory, and God created HIV and all other RNA viruses 6000 years ago and they haven't changed since.

Pennsylvania School of Medicine? (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036873)

Who wrote that summary? They can't even get the name of the school right - it's the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Man, them's some shitty editorial standards you've got there.

Philly School of Medicine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037027)

"Get outta heah, you sick bastid!"

Re:Pennsylvania School of Medicine? (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037111)

Man, them's some shitty editorial standards you've got there.

What [slashdot.org] standards [slashdot.org] ?

CRC error? (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036881)

Anyone else read this as a CRC error?

Re:CRC error? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038015)

I wake up in a cold sweat some nights dreaming of CRC errors in my Zmodem batch downloads!

Alternatively: (5, Funny)

my_left_nut (1161359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036905)

"Researchers Throw Finger at HIV"

Mod Up Parent (1)

halsver (885120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037175)

Do it

Re:Alternatively: (1)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038285)

Bastard! I had a line floating around that involved an ECC mutation... Now, you've gone and thrown it all away....

Brilliant! (4, Funny)

DeVilla (4563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037063)

That sounds like a great plan. Insert errors into our genetic code until the virus leaves us alone. That's got to work.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037159)

That sounds like a great plan. Insert errors into our genetic code until the virus leaves us alone. That's got to work.

Well, one in every billion-odd genetic errors results in evolutionary mutation. I suppose if you're feeling really lucky...

(Hey, they got us this far!)

Re:Brilliant! (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037427)

If only the same principle worked for Microsoft...

Why don't we use HIV cells behavior against them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037135)

Since they seek out t-cells, why not make a t-cell trap? Create a t-cell-like cell that has no value to replication of HIV virii, and once the HIV virus gets in, it's trapped.

Re:Why don't we use HIV cells behavior against the (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038063)

That's pretty much what all AIDS drugs have attempted to do, thus far. Making fake cells seems problematic, since you would have to replace the patient's own cells with them until all the virus has been "cleaned up." But interrupting the life cycle of the virus is the main goal of therapy. Viruses typically use enzymes and proteins to move in and out of human cells. Influenza, for example, uses hemagglutinin to break its way into the cell, then later uses neuraminidase to break back out when it's ready to spread further. If you can somehow block the action of either of these proteins, you have managed to disrupt the viral life cycle. If it can't spread, it should eventually die off. Thus, if a doctor gives you medicine to fight a bad flu, he's probably giving you what is called a "neuraminidase inhibitor." Scientists have tried to create many HIV drugs along similar lines. The problem, as always, is that the HIV virus mutates so rapidly that you can't assume that what worked an hour ago will still work now (literally).

Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (0, Troll)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037179)

I have to wonder by modifying the T-Cell will it screw up the immune system? Mutate it to do something else? I think the only true way to control HIV problem is through education and prevention. If people are stupid enough to have unprotected sex with an unknown partner then it's their problem. Also, this re-enforces the nature of being faithful in a relationship so stop screwing around people!!

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037447)

But what happens when one partner is unfaithful, contracts AIDS, and passes it on to the faithful partner?

What happens when someone with AIDS rapes someone?

What happens when someone with AIDS passes it along to their unborn child (a rare occasion now due to modern medicine)?

Get off your high horse tool. Some people are infected not because of their behavior, but fate. A fix should be available for them, as well as everyone else infected.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (0, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037535)

A fix should be available for them, as well as everyone else infected.

      The problem is when you're dealing with for profit pharmaceutical companies, a "fix" is not in their best interest. Not many research dollars are going to be assigned to THAT. Keeping you alive and dependent on their overpriced medications is far more profitable. Don't hope for a "fix" for anything. Expect lifelong "treatments" instead.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (1)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038459)

A fix should be available for them, as well as everyone else infected.

The problem is when you're dealing with for profit pharmaceutical companies, a "fix" is not in their best interest. Not many research dollars are going to be assigned to THAT. Keeping you alive and dependent on their overpriced medications is far more profitable. Don't hope for a "fix" for anything. Expect lifelong "treatments" instead.

They're just bad as tobacco companies for their nicotine addiction. Granted they need to find the cure and vaccine for it but the way it is now it's not gonna happen anytime soon. HIV is very real and people need to do everything they can to protect themselves. Seems lately people are being naive thinking it'll never happen to them and still continue to have unprotected sex with unknown partners. Rape and other situations are a separate issue altogether. I'm talking about deliberate acts of being stupid by not using protection. To me that's not an excuse. Protection isn't 100% effective but at least they should make an effort to prevent the spread of HIV.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (1)

RockWolf (806901) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038175)

While I agree with the sentiments of your post, this:

What happens when someone with AIDS passes it along to their unborn child (a rare occasion now due to modern medicine)?

is unfortunately far too common in many parts of Africa. In western society, as you say, it's rare - but totally rife in other parts. I've read [avert.org] statistics that the HIV infection rate in some areas is over 20%.

Education, health care, etc may be the long-term answer... No one apparently is sure of a short-term preventative measure, though.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037999)

What happens if you get AIDS while trying to help someone who is injured? Unprotected sex is NOT the only way to get HIV infections. If it was I would agree with your stance; but it is not. Just because its the most common vector does not mean its the only one.

I would really hate if I or someone I care about who was smart enough to know something about who their sleeping with and use protection ended up contracting HIV some other way and could not get treatment. Especially if the treatment is never developed because some fools like you assumed that unprotected sex was the only way to get it and it will never mutate to become more infectious through other vectors.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038047)

If people are stupid enough to have unprotected sex with an unknown partner then it's their problem. Also, this re-enforces the nature of being faithful in a relationship so stop screwing around people!!

Tell that to your wife, since last month one day at lunch we fucked in your own bed, and while i haven't told her yet, i did give her aids.
Hopefully you've slept with her since then and have it too, so you can understand the folly of your words.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038185)

If people are stupid enough to have unprotected sex with an unknown partner then it's their problem. Or stupid enough to work in a hospital and get stuck with an infected needle. Or stupid enough to be born with an HIV-infected mother. Or stupid enough to get a transfusion that wasn't properly screened. Fact is, there are millions of people out there that are HIV positive through no fault of their own! That being said, yes, education, prevention, and possibly vaccines are important. The probability of actually curing something that can hide dormant inside a cell for 70+ years seems very low to me. Oh by the way, your own body "messes around" with T-Cells all the time, in order to train it to react to new types of infection...

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038683)

If people are stupid enough to have unprotected sex with an unknown partner then it's their problem. Also, this re-enforces the nature of being faithful in a relationship so stop screwing around people!!

No it doesn't, not in the slightest.

It reinforces the nature of using a condom while screwing around, nothing more.

PS: Every partner might as well be treated like an "unknown" partner. Unless you have 7x24 video surveillance of their every move, you could quite easily be infected with HIV. Trust doesn't stop viruses, and thousands of cases demonstrate my point.

In summary, HIV has nothing to do with screwing around, and nothing to do with "unknown" partners. It has everything to do with unprotected sex, and unprotected sex only. The only way to 100% guarantee you'll never catch HIV is to never ever have penetrative sex. Period. With anyone, no matter how much you trust them. You can be 99.9999% sure if you use a condom. Anything else, you're taking your life into your own hands.

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (2, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038909)

I guess when Isaac Asimov was infected with HIV from a contaminated blood transfusion he deserved to get sick and die!

Re:Messin around with T-Cells a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24039017)

To be human is to fuck. All that dog wants to do is hunt.

A world without zinc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037423)

Jimmy: Hey, what gives?
Jimmy's Dad: You said you wanted to live in a world without zinc Jimmy. Well now your car has no battery.
Jimmy: But I promised Betty I'd pick her up by 6:00. I better give her a call.
Jimmy's Dad: Sorry Jimmy. Without zinc for the rotary mechanism, there are no telephones.
Jimmy: Dear God! What have I done?
(Jimmy pulls out a gun and points it to his head and fires)
Jimmy's Dad: Think again Jimmy. You see the firing pin in your gun was made out of...yep...zinc.
Jimmy: Come back zinc, Come Back!!

Zinc finger != protein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037443)

Zinc fingers aren't proteins... they are parts of proteins (motifs) that bind to DNA. Along with zinc finger, there are four or five other common DNA-binding motifs that are in found in most DNA-binding proteins.

T-Virus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037937)

T-Cells you say, eh?
Then you revive the dead cells, and it comes zombies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_Virus [wikipedia.org]

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