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Gene Transfer Immunizes Against Monkey HIV Analog

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-to-live-in-the-21st-century dept.

Biotech 104

Al writes "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have immunized monkeys against the simian immunodeficiency virus, the animal model that is closest to HIV. They did so by shuttling a gene into the monkeys' muscles, making the muscle cells produce antibody-like molecules that work against SIV. With both SIV and HIV, the chameleon-like mutability of the virus's surface changes so quickly that most antibodies made by the immune system are soon rendered ineffective. Philip Johnson and colleagues designed DNA sequences for two antibodies known to be effective against SIV. They used antibody-like molecules, called immunoadhesins, in which the functional part of an antibody is fused with a more stable section of another antibody. The same approach could be used to deliver antibodies that are effective against HIV, but which the body doesn't normally produce."

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104 comments

that's good news.... (5, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28013743)

...for all the HIV-analogous-positive monkeys.

Re:that's good news.... (4, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28013887)

I'm waiting to see what they can do with Monkey HIV Digital.

Re:that's good news.... (2, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014471)

You mean SIV NEGATIVE monkeys who are engaging in unsafe behaviors (unprotected monkey sex, sharing heroin needles, and participating in HIV related research as test subjects.) Vaccines usually don't cure you once infected (rabies is a limited exception), I suppose this one might, but so far it's only been demonstrated to prevent infection, not eliminate after infection.

Re:that's good news.... (5, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015321)

unprotected monkey sex, sharing heroin needles, and participating in HIV related research as test subjects

I miss college.

Re:that's good news.... (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015379)

You had unprotected monkey sex at college? Lucky bastard!

Re:that's good news.... (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 5 years ago | (#28019679)

Now all you can look forward to is getting swine flu from screwing an Omega Mu.

Re:that's good news.... (5, Funny)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014741)

You'd think that, but tragically, most HMOs refuse to cover monkeys, and gene transfer therapy is quite simply beyond the means of working class simians.

Monkeys, write your congressman!

Re:that's good news.... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015435)

Monkeys, hurl feces at your congressman!

Re:that's good news.... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016507)

Congresschimp?

Mozilla's might get some flak from feminists groups for this. It highlighted Congresschimp as being spelled incorrectly, so I opened the context menu to find out what spellcheck thought I was trying to say. After 'Congress chimp' and 'Congress-chimp' is 'Congresswomen' and 'Congresswoman'.

Re:that's good news.... (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018133)

Monkeys, hurl feces at our congressmen!

Re:that's good news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28022425)

In Soviet Russia, congressmen hurl feces at monkeys...

Re:that's good news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28022957)

Monkeys, write your congressman!

Monkeys, throw feces at your congressman!

What happens when... (1)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016047)

We already have diseases like Scarlet Fever that cause the body to attack itself. In the case of Scarlet Fever, a strep infection (like strep throat) causes the body to attack the the valves in the heart because the protien in the valves is similar to the one on the bacteria.

Now you want to start bonding things to stuff and seeing what you can get it to attack... Why am I seeing cancer, kidney, and liver problems in the futures of patients treated with this stuff??

Re:What happens when... (1)

ChangelingJane (1042436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016987)

This time, it actually will be lupus.

Re:What happens when... (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017367)

lol, House!

Re:What happens when... (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018295)

Now you want to start bonding things to stuff and seeing what you can get it to attack... Why am I seeing cancer, kidney, and liver problems in the futures of patients treated with this stuff??

And just what do you think antibodies are, anyway? If you still don't like the idea, I've got a one-time offer for you: We'll turn off all your antibodies. No more cancer, kidney, and liver problems for you!

Re:that's good news.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28016245)

Typical moronic comments from Slashdotters.
1) HIV is not the cause of AIDS. (Yes, I know, I know, you know more about AIDS than I do, because the TV told you all about it.)
Read the book "Science Sold Out" - very short, and proves that AIDS is not a sexually transmitted disease.
2) Vivisectionists like torturing monkeys, and 99% of Slashdotters seem to be complete sociopaths, who are incapable of feeling the suffering of others, so every vivisection story turns into a joke about this or that animal, because you can't even imagine for one second what it feels like to be them. How humane of you all.
3. Vivisectionists, being the sociopaths that they are, don't give two hoots about the people they are claiming to be doing 'vital research' for, and their 'research' is a total fraud, which is why we have the current HIV debacle (no cure, no hope of a cure, allegedly 'HIV positive' people living for more than 20 years with NO illness, number of 'infections' stuck at a constant one million in the U.S. for the past 20 years, which is impossible if it's a sexually transmitted virus, not to mention how many people should be dying every year in the U.S. from 'AIDS' but simply aren't...

Re:that's good news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28019919)

We clearly need to begin preaching monkey abstinence and other safe sex practices to primates. I smell a $100 million grant to teach wild apes to make condoms out of banana skins...

Re:that's good news.... (1)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 5 years ago | (#28023771)

Hey I'm at a conference right now, and the last author of the paper presented this work to the audience. (It's the Cold Spring Harbor Retroviruses Meeting, and the presenter was Desrosiers.) The good news here is that there are relatively few antibodies to use for these SIV experiments, and they see beneficial effects. For humans, several broadly neutralizing antibodies have been found that could potentially do a much better job against HIV. So this is a step in the right direction!

Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28013849)

It would seem to me like this would maybe work for a year or so, and then there'd be some new strain that these antibodies might not hit.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (2, Interesting)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28013943)

I imagine once a working immunization exists, it can be adapted to new strains when needed.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (4, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014467)

Maybe, but at the same time if it works 80% of the time, then the infection rate will go down much further than that and stop the problem almost in its tracks. If another strain comes out that can get around it, then we've still got existing medications and the ability to adapt the shot to the new strain.

What would be best is if the treatment is cheap enough to administer in Africa (and if it's really effective, than that can be relative since I can see a lot of people and countries giving more money for something this big). Stopping AIDS in Africa could easily be the biggest medical achievement this century.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014727)

Good luck with that.
You are talking about a continent where fuck twads A.K.A. Anit-vaccines and woo crowd, have the governments convinced that vaccine are a western evil and the one should use natural remedies, like beating them selves with certain type of plants.
Hell some places spread the lies that condoms are a western evil.
Many Islam areas in Africa claims it's all the woman's fault. Of course, they also won't let the women do anything about it, like use a condom.

Fuck. twads.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (4, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015371)

Worse than that -- some Africans believe that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin. A belief not exactly compatible with halting the spread of the disease. The most effective immunization against HIV is information and education of the entire population. Antivirals don't cure the disease, but they can certainly prevent the taker from infecting others if used in accordance with doctor's orders.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (2, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016121)

That is a common mistake. They state right on the bottle that they do not prevent infection. They reduce the viral load to undetectable levels (beneath the test threshold) but they do not eliminate the virus and they do not prevent infection. There are people who are exposed to the virus who will take a sort of day after regimen to hopefully prevent infection but it's not proven to work (how would you ever get test subjects to agree?)

This advance is interesting in that it causes the body to produce an antibody permanently via synthetic means. Much like taking an antibiotic pill for a few weeks. I have to wonder if/when the body would stop producing antibodies or if it would continually produce them for the remainder of the recipients life.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018331)

I think you are getting your Zovirax bottle confused with your HIV anti-viral bottles. The HIV anti-viral bottles say nothing about preventing or not preventing infection. The HIV antiviral cocktail usually prevents passing the disease from mother to child during pregnancy and nursing; in my mind that is a very good thing. Millions of children are born already HIV infected; despite this, some still claim that HIV is God's way of punishing them for their "lifestyle".

What do you give the man that has everything? Antivirals.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (1)

amilo100 (1345883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28023335)

The HIV anti-viral bottles say nothing about preventing or not preventing infection.

If ARVs are given within 72 to hours (the sooner the better) from exposure to HIV can successfully prevent an HIV infection. This is known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-exposure_prophylaxis).

This is usually given in cases of rape or a needle prick or blood spatter to the eye (the last is very dangerous).

and nursing

For interest sake, the South African government provides free milk formula to any HIV positive mother (to prevent this).

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28027181)

If you reduce the viral load its a logical conclusion that you reduce the probability of infecting another as well. Whether that goes to 0% is another story.

On a similar vein, I have heard of stories of HIV+/HIV- couples deciding to have children after the introduction of the various AIDS drug cocktails. Supposedly they were able to successfully do this several times, without infecting the HIV- partner.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018563)

The most effective immunization against HIV is information and education of the entire population.

That's a big claim. Have they tried cutting all the niggers' cocks off yet?

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28020455)

Worse than that -- some Africans believe that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin.

Is there anything that can't be cured by having sex with a virgin?

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28015387)

You're exactly right. Its religion, woo, and general backwards thinking that is spreading AIDS around Africa. Some groups are using their own pathetic morality to suppress Africans who otherwis don't know any better. Eg condoms, food technology, computers.. Boot out the christians & muslims I say.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016177)

Some groups are using their own pathetic morality to suppress Africans who otherwis don't know any better.

And how bad would the AIDS epidemic be (in Africa or elsewhere) if people followed "oppressive" Christian teachings like keeping the sex in marriage (I'm no expert on Islam, but as far as I know, they too at least theoretically believe the same)? Granted, even many professed Christians don't follow those teachings, but that doesn't make the principle itself less effective. It would also have a profoundly positive effect on the welfare system, and abortion would very nearly be a non-issue. But nobody wants to talk about it, because we don't want to look like we gave in to those right-wing wackos, depsite the fact that there are huge benefits and nobody has ever shown me an actual drawback to it.

Mock and flame away. I'll pay attention when somebody proposes an actual drawback to monogamy (and no, Sarah Palin's daughter is not one. That again is an example of a problem of not embracing monogamy. I want somebody to point out a disadvantage of monogamy itself).

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (4, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016371)

People have been preaching abstinence and monogamy for thousands of years. I don't see any evidence of it having worked.

People are people. They make mistakes from time to time even if they are trying to follow one of these prescriptive, backward religions.

Combine that with the willful spreading of ignorant, superstitious beliefs in Africa and you have a monumental disaster.

It's time the straight-laced preachers of this world and their arm-chair proponents looked at the reality of human nature and thought of something compatible with it that might help instead of berating and condescending.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018325)

I don't see any evidence of you answering the above... legitimate... question. I see prescriptive, backwards, ignorant, superstitious, disaster, "straight laced." Instead of berating and condescending, maybe you could try to make a point that is not one or both of those two.

You guys 'member the potential internet discussion forums used to have?

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28021949)

Maybe it would be more effective if we stripped transgressors naked and cast them out to die in the barren wastes, alone in shame.

Its just like all the good environmental laws, they lack vigorous enforcement.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029291)

Abstinence and monogamy have a 100% success rate.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28019303)

Yes, that would be great. It would also be great to have fairies that cure every single disease and bring world peace. Not gonna happen, people are people and they will have unprotected sex and be stupid in general, sorry.

My point is, monogamy would be great to improve a lot of society problems but it's a utopian dream more than anything else.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28020295)

Why not? I've never seen a fairy bringing world peace, but I know a lot of monogamous people, myself included.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (1)

ghighi (1416473) | more than 5 years ago | (#28022693)

Drawback #1: I can't have sex with anybody.
Do I need to go further?

Keeping the sex in mariage is a moral answer to a medical problem. Can't work.
Teaching 'safe sex' is a much better approach. You are advised not to sleep carelessly with someone but without the moral incentive.

That's like saying abandoning cars are the solution to car related death, all the while considering it a sin to move faster than what speed god gave you at birth.
If you can't find the drawback then stick with monogamy and sex in marriage, it's fine by me.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0, Troll)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 5 years ago | (#28022699)

"And how bad would the AIDS epidemic be (in Africa or elsewhere) if people followed "oppressive" Christian teachings like keeping the sex in marriage (I'm no expert on Islam, but as far as I know, they too at least theoretically believe the same)?"

That won't do a hell of a lot for the people catching HIV from dirty needles or from breast feeding mothers.
Monogamy in marriage is all fine and dandy, but lets not pretend HIV wouldn't exist if people could just forget millions of years of evolution and keep it in their pants.

"Mock and flame away. I'll pay attention when somebody proposes an actual drawback to monogamy."
By reducing sexual partners, you limit the number of offspring you have and human kind evolves more slowly. But then again, your Christian teachings probably preclude you from believing evolution occurs.

PS Monogamy inside marriage is part of Islam, but in many Islamic societies men can take multiple wives. That is what I call having your cake and eating it too.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028261)

Mock and flame away.

Clears throat...

Hey Zordak, you need to find someone to sleep with you for it to be monogamy!

Hey Zordak, the trouble with monogamy is that your mom doesn't always agree to wear the paper bag, and then what do I do?

Hey Zordak, ...

Glad to help.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (4, Funny)

mutube (981006) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017065)

Hell some places spread the lies that condoms are a western evil.

'Some places' like Vatican City?

Do it right kids, use a condom! [brainflower.com]

The Pope vs condoms (2, Informative)

olden (772043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28021313)

Hell some places spread the lies that condoms are a western evil.

'Some places' like Vatican City?

Indeed, sadly enough. Last time just 2 months ago, on his way to Africa [bbc.co.uk] precisely...
We might be one step closer to a vaccine, great news. In the meantime, someone please tell the Pope [avaaz.org] that condoms do save lives?

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017291)

Well, the Catholic church doesn't help, either.

Because obviously, dying of AIDS as a pious loser is better than using rubber when you have sex.

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (1)

amilo100 (1345883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28023289)

You are talking about a continent where fuck twads A.K.A. Anit-vaccines and woo crowd, have the governments convinced

That is not really the case. The biggest problem is opposition to ARVs and the support of controversial AIDS drugs. A few examples are [virodene](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virodene) (basically an industrial solvent) or [garlic and beetroot](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manto_Tshabalala-Msimang). Some people (e.g. Thabo Mbeki) even questions the link between HIV and AIDS.

Hell some places spread the lies that condoms are a western evil.

This is true. This and the belief that having sex with a virgin/baby will cure you of AIDS.

Many Islam areas in Africa claims it's all the woman's fault. Of course, they also won't let the women do anything about it, like use a condom.

In many Islamic countries the number of people with AIDS actually decrease. This is probably due to the enforced strict morality. The biggest problem is the patriarchal society â" a woman cannot refuse a husband sex and the completely loose moral standards (multiple partners, no fidelity).

Re:Don't virii evolve extremely quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018369)

80% of the time, it works all the time.

Best of times (-1, Redundant)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28013903)

There never been a better time to be a mouse, and now there has never been a better time to be a promiscuous gay intravenous drug-using monkey! Woo-hoo!

Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (5, Informative)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 5 years ago | (#28013905)

I spent many years in medical school doing research work on viruses, including work with SIV. This article is very optimistic in some of its summaries. HIV and SIV are qualitatively different in the extent of "hypervariability" in their surface proteins. It is generally accepted to be "easier" to create antibodies to SIV, which has been done for many years.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7865316?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed [nih.gov]

The technique described is very interesting, don't get me wrong, and I hope it works. However, there are *already* many techniques that appear to immunize against this HIV analog, which do not work for human HIV. The two are significantly different.

Re:Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014053)

It only works if your name is Magic Johnson.

Re:Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014705)

It may be as simple as, "These techniques that work for SIV don't work for HIV. Maybe this new one does work." But, yes, I'd appreciate it if researchists didn't give the false impression that this is the first breakthrough in this area, much like I'd prefer that embryonic-stem-cell articles point out that nearly all breakthroughs with stem cells have come from "adult" stem cells, and that cord-blood stem cells are also known as "adult" stem cells. This kind of transparency would mitigate or eliminate the hysteria, as well as doing away with much of the politicisation of science, IMO.

Re:Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (4, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014781)

Yeah, but at least I can sleep with my monkey without worrying...

Re:Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014979)

You can not touch my monkey.

Re:Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28017691)

So, Michael Jackson is using the username "feepness" here on Slashdot. Who'd a thunk it?

Re:Whoa there, reporter cowboy. (1)

jeric23 (1154589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28022961)

The technique described is very interesting, don't get me wrong, and I hope it works. However, there are *already* many techniques that appear to immunize against this HIV analog, which do not work for human HIV. The two are significantly different.

If the H in HIV stands for Human (as in HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus), then are humans simian? Are Simians superior to these humble humans? If so, i'd just like state my praising devotion to my Simian feces throwing Overlords.

Another cure? (3, Funny)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28013939)

Does the direct injection of large sums of money also work for simians?

Re:Another cure? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015221)

No, but it works in your Mom's kush.

and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014005)

there is already a 100% effective immunization against HIV.

This brings new hope... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014035)

...to cock-gobbling Mac fanbois everywhere.

Re:This brings new hope... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014203)

I disagree. It dosen't appear to be working on Steve Jobs.

Re:and yet... (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014755)

What's that, death?

Seriously, other than never being near it, I'm not aware of any 100% effective immunization against HIV. Which is about as useful, physically speaking, as having a 100% effective immunization against bullets when fired from a gun: if I'm already dead, it's not going to make things worse, and if it misses me, I'm okay, too.

Re:and yet... (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015433)

Perhaps not 100 %, but CCR5-Delta32 helps quite a lot. In a strange twist of history, you have to be a Nordic, what some would have called "Nordic Aryan" half a century ago. I always knew that Black Death must have been good at least for *something*.

Re:and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28020165)

Your Slashdot account.

At last... (1, Funny)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014073)

...all of my hard work preparing for the zombie invasion will soon pay off.

Re:At last... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014669)

lol, reading that article all that I could think of was:

MOAR BRAYNS!

Do you think I am infected?

I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28014119)

Why not inject the antibody directly ? Why do we need the body to produce it naturally ? If production is the concern, why not inject the gene in bacterias and have then produce the antibody.

There's probably a good reason but I don't know it.

Re:I don't get it (3, Informative)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015589)

Injecting the antibodies directly does neutralize the virus, but unfortunately, the body's immune system recognizes those antibodies as foreign and so mounts an immune response against them (an anti-antibody antibody, if you like), which clears them from the bloodstream. So you'd need regular injections of neutralizing antibodies to maintain a therapeutic concentration in your blood. To quote the paper: "Passive immunization schemes using neutralizing antibodies have protected monkeys from SIV or simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge infections. Unfortunately, an injection of antibodies every few weeks is neither practical nor cost effective as a large-scale human vaccine approach."

End run around non-protective responses (5, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014283)

I'm kind of seeing this technique as an end-run around the "decoy" problem. It's been well known for some time that, at least in the general population, the antibody response against HIV tends to get targeted towards features which are non-protective or hyper-mutable.

However, over time we've come to discover a very small number of patients who have unusual resistance to progression. Some of these possess receptor mutations, some have unusual HLA types, while others were merely infected with what appeared to be somewhat milder variants of the virus.

However, in a few rare cases, we discovered patients with antibodies that were unusually effective at dealing with HIV's evasions. Often these antibodies had "weird" features -- things like floppy sections of their variable regions that allowed them to reach down to contact hidden epitopes, and other rare features. While they offered hope that an effective antibody response was not impossible, at the same time there really much chance of designing an antigen in such a way to get the general population to produce these unusual variants.

So, what this work has apparently done, is skip the entire vaccination step. Clone out the sequence for those particularly effective antibody variants, get your target organism to express them directly. However HIV may adapt to the new antibodies, as long as you can find one single person, somewhere in the world with an effective antibody response, it can be duplicated elsewhere.

Re:End run around non-protective responses (3, Funny)

OneMadMuppet (1329291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015283)

floppy sections of their variable regions that allowed them to reach down to contact hidden epitopes

Best. Euphemism. Ever.

Re:End run around non-protective responses (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015397)

floppy sections of their variable regions that allowed them to reach down to contact hidden epitopes

Best. Euphemism. Ever.

Indeed! This euphemism is SO good, it has the potential to cure AIDS!

Re:End run around non-protective responses (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018663)

AIDS? It's so good it could cure cancer too - retroactively!

Re:End run around non-protective responses (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28020987)

there [isn't] really much chance of designing an antigen in such a way to get the general population to produce these unusual variants.

But that's because we don't really understand these variants, right? Oh, (and this isn't directed at you) pardon me - strengthening or researching the flexibility of the human immune system in general isn't really going to help the bottom line of our pharma industry, is it? Good luck getting research funding for exporing that option.

Also, my sig seems strangely appropriate for this topic.

Waste of money (2, Funny)

still cynical (17020) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014373)

In just a few years we'll be forced to upgrade to Monkey HIV Digital, which will make Monkey HIV Analog look like crap anyway.

Re:Waste of money (5, Funny)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014455)

The analog version is obviously superior. I can feel the soft, velvety texture of the analog virus whereas the digital version seems rough and blocky.

Re:Waste of money (4, Funny)

still cynical (17020) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014615)

Yeah, you're probably one of those people that insist on spending a fortune on glass syringes with exotic wood plungers and gold-plated needles, because they feel healthier.

Re:Waste of money (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015479)

Whoa I'm not letting a doctor come anywhere near me with something called a "Monster Needle" no matter how much better he says the fidelity is.

Re:Waste of money (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016259)

A colonoscopy really is a good idea for men over 40.

I think (2, Insightful)

jobjob4 (1558013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014399)

I think the virus will always mutate

Great news for those who can't walk upright... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014437)

... with a hat on.

Re:Great news for those who can't walk upright... (1, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015707)

Great news for those who can't walk upright... with a hat on.

This is some sort of reference to George Bush's arguably incomplete ancestral path from monkey to human, right?

I am not a sciency guy break it down for me please (4, Funny)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014521)

Is it safe again to screw the monkeys or not?!

Re:I am not a sciency guy break it down for me ple (1)

Lysdestic (1191833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016677)

Wait, we were supposed to stop?

Even more interesting HIV news (5, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014671)

A gene therapy in humans that reawakens a gene we lost [scienceblogs.com] . The kicker? A kind of antibiotic cream can reawaken it without gene therapy!

Re:Even more interesting HIV news (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28015761)

Sounds promising, but beware of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Intentionally triggering defects in the manufacture of proteins could have lots of nasty side-effects.

Re:Even more interesting HIV news (1)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28020097)

While true it may have nasty side effects, those living with HIV would most certainly take the chance.

Re:Even more interesting HIV news (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016449)

Wow! A superpowers drug you can just rub into your skin? You'd think it'd be something you have to freebase...

Re:Even more interesting HIV news (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017673)

Very interesting, but is the effect permanent (and inheritable)?

Good news for monkeys (1, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014761)

So this protects Steve Ballmer and his family but what about the rest of us? *ducks chair* INCOMING!

Re:Good news for monkeys (0, Offtopic)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017013)

Steve Ballmer flings chairs, not poo.

Re:Good news for monkeys (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017263)

Uh...duh. Hence why I ducked the chair from the 'dancing monkey boy'. Learn your memes and how to read.

Re:Good news for monkeys (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017445)

Get a sense of humor.

Re:Good news for monkeys (2, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018071)

Illiteracy is no laughing matter my friend. Learn to read.

Re:Good news for monkeys (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017441)

Don't forget about Baba Booey!

(of course, he still can't pitch)

The Cure For AIDS Is Cash (0, Redundant)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014767)

According to South Park, Magic Johnson has already found the cure to HIV & AIDS with large doses of injected cash into the body...lol.

Monkeys are safe again... but for how long? (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28014903)

Antibodies against HIV are extremely hard to get right. For example, Dan Barouch [google.com] has kept a group of vaccinated monkeys with an SIV/HIV hybrid alive for years... except for one whose virus mutated in just the wrong way. Based on the limited information in the article, it seems like the U Penn study works similarly.

Finally (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 5 years ago | (#28016023)

Because people should just stop touching the monkeys. They've got problems enough as it is!

P. Johnson (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017007)

I was hoping it was this Phillip Johnson [wikipedia.org] . That would have been a real twist.

Jokes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28017333)

Come on, Slashdot, where are all of the racist jokes? I expect better from you people.

I guess I'll start: nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger. It's the nigger and faggot virus. Okay it's not really a joke, but eh, we needed a few niggers in this thread. (Haha actually no -- no we most certainly do not! [unless they're dead])

But what about the DIGITAL monkeys? Huh? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28021101)

That would be 'analogue' not 'analog'.

Editing, +1

Gene transfer (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 5 years ago | (#28023249)

I wonder where they get those extra genes from to transfer? (I didn't RTFA.) I hope not it's frogs - we know how well that worked out for John Hammond. Wait, there's something about a chameleon (I don't RTFS either, sorry). And we know that Suse belongs to Novel, who's in bed with MS (sounds like a soapie yet?), who are against viral licensing. So this is how it works!
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