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Human Blood May Contain A Cure For AIDS

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that-would-be-quite-convenient dept.

Biotech 309

Lisandro writes "German scientists at the University of Ulm have identified a natural ingredient of human blood that prevents the HIV-1 virus from from infecting immune cells and multiplying. The molecule, which they call virus-inhibitory peptide (VIRIP), promises new types of effective treatment for HIV in the future. 'Tweaks to its amino acid components boosted its anti-HIV potency by two orders of magnitude. Tests also showed that some derivatives of the molecule are highly stable in human blood plasma, and non-toxic even at very high concentrations. A synthetic version of VIRIP also proved effective at blocking HIV, excluding the possibility that some other factor was responsible. VIRIP targets a sugar molecule which HIV uses to infect a host cell. '"

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309 comments

the real solution made apparent (3, Funny)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813773)

"VIRIP targets a sugar molecule which HIV uses to infect a host cell."

Well clearly then, the real solution is to destroy all the sugars in your body! /sarcasm

Good for them though, lets get this solved.

Re:the real solution made apparent (3, Informative)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813901)

A huge number of viruses target sugars. It is a common material in the human body.

No, that is not a sad comment on the human diet, it is instead an explanation for why we like sugar so much, it is so usefull and neccessary.

Re:the real solution made apparent (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814073)

it is instead an explanation for why we like sugar so much, it is so usefull and neccessary.

And all this time I thought I liked sugar because it is sweet and delicious!

Re:the real solution made apparent (0, Troll)

Grimmreaper74 (1014291) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814433)

Isn't the hole you get the virus from sweet and delicious too??? I guess one comes with the other...

Re:the real solution made apparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814671)

Well MY ass isn't sweet, I'll tell you that!

Re:the real solution made apparent (2, Informative)

RSKennan (835119) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814501)

It's sweet and delicious because we need it.

Re:the real solution made apparent (4, Interesting)

beckerist (985855) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814741)

Predators, like cats, cannot taste sweet because their body receives enough sugars from their food sources that they don't require the need to seek more out. We, as omnivores, have a much larger "taste range" as we require many different, and many more nutrients.

Re:the real solution made apparent (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814327)

instead an explanation for why we like sugar so much, it is so usefull and neccessary.

It's useful, but not necessary. The body can run on ketones.

Re:the real solution made apparent (1)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814633)

Yeah, if you feel like dying.

Re:the real solution made apparent (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814727)

I consumed very little carbohydrates (very hard to eat NONE) for over a year - in most cases less than 10g/day, and I was in the best health in which I had ever been. I lost weight, I put on muscle, my cholesterol was lower than it had been when I was eating carbs. Your mileage may vary, but your FUD is pathetic. You're either misled and spreading someone else's FUD, or you're making the usual idiot mistake of confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which are not remotely the same thing.

Re:the real solution made apparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18813939)

Don't be so naive. Read the title again (slightly tweaked to make the point): "Human blood contains a cure for AIDS."

You're saying you need it extracted and reinjected? Duh, come on.

(anon for the political)

Re:the real solution made apparent (1)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814403)

You're saying you need it extracted and reinjected? Duh, come on.

No, that if they can either synthesize it or develop a biosynthesis process, they can produce it in large quantities and inject that, augmenting the body's natural supply to increase its resistance to infection by the AIDs virus.

Re:the real solution made apparent (0, Troll)

Rukie (930506) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813961)

The article itself mentions that other drugs will fail. We need to eradicate HIV entirely, like small pox. However, this could be difficult to do. Jokingly, take everyone with HIV and put them on their own island, would be a quick fix. The next reasonable idea, nanobots!

well... (4, Informative)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813783)

Abstract of original article in Cell [cell.com].

A variety of molecules in human blood have been implicated in the inhibition of HIV-1. However, it remained elusive which circulating natural compounds are most effective in controlling viral replication in vivo. To identify natural HIV-1 inhibitors we screened a comprehensive peptide library generated from human hemofiltrate. The most potent fraction contained a 20-residue peptide, designated VIRUS-INHIBITORY PEPTIDE (VIRIP), corresponding to the C-proximal region of 1-antitrypsin, the most abundant circulating serine protease inhibitor. We found that VIRIP inhibits a wide variety of HIV-1 strains including those resistant to current antiretroviral drugs. Further analysis demonstrated that VIRIP blocks HIV-1 entry by interacting with the gp41 fusion peptide and showed that a few amino acid changes increase its antiretroviral potency by two orders of magnitude. Thus, as a highly specific natural inhibitor of the HIV-1 gp41 fusion peptide, VIRIP may lead to the development of another class of antiretroviral drugs.

This is all baloney (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814511)

Anyone with half a brain can see this is just another ploy by the liberals to prevent our boys from becoming circumsized.

Patent Pending (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18813789)

Sincerely,

God

Link to the actual Cell Article ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18813795)

http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=P IIS0092867407003285 [cell.com] - Discovery and Optimization of a Natural HIV-1 Entry Inhibitor Targeting the gp41 Fusion Peptide
Summary

A variety of molecules in human blood have been implicated in the inhibition of HIV-1. However, it remained elusive which circulating natural compounds are most effective in controlling viral replication in vivo. To identify natural HIV-1 inhibitors we screened a comprehensive peptide library generated from human hemofiltrate. The most potent fraction contained a 20-residue peptide, designated VIRUS-INHIBITORY PEPTIDE (VIRIP), corresponding to the C-proximal region of 1-antitrypsin, the most abundant circulating serine protease inhibitor. We found that VIRIP inhibits a wide variety of HIV-1 strains including those resistant to current antiretroviral drugs. Further analysis demonstrated that VIRIP blocks HIV-1 entry by interacting with the gp41 fusion peptide and showed that a few amino acid changes increase its antiretroviral potency by two orders of magnitude. Thus, as a highly specific natural inhibitor of the HIV-1 gp41 fusion peptide, VIRIP may lead to the development of another class of antiretroviral drugs.

Very Cute, Taco !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814247)

The "abstract" submitted two posts above ("interesting") WAS NOT THERE earlier.

Very cute.

So: how long will it take HIV to evolve ... (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813811)

so that this is no longer a threat to HIV?

It's out to reproduce, that's its job.

RS

Re:So: how long will it take HIV to evolve ... (3, Funny)

the_wishbone (1018542) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814385)

It's out to reproduce, that's its job.

How'd it get THAT job? I'm gonna kill my guidance counselor...

There has always been a cure available (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18813815)

There always been a cure - don't sleep with nappy headed hos!!!

Re:There has always been a cure available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18813951)

That's prevention, not cure.

They work the opposite way: fun may lead to dire need for cure, while prevention may lead to dire need for fun.
As they say, you are screwed, no matter what.

Re:There has always been a cure available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814381)

That doesn't help people who get it from tainted blood, and it doesn't help people who get it from forced prostitution, to pick two groups. There are an awful lot of people in that latter category.

Also, there are plenty of other people with aids than those you stereotypically malign.

A New Protein (0, Offtopic)

Moggyboy (949119) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813841)

"A new protein, comprising of 4 amino acids, has been discovered that can repel the HIV virus. The first acid enrages the virus by continuing making annoying noises from the back of a truck, while the second drives the truck away from the virus just quick enough for it not to be able to catch up. The third acid distracts the virus by dressing in a clown suit, while the fourth sneaks up behind it and gives it an atomic wedgie."

Re:A New Protein (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814277)

My crystal ball says that your hope for a career in comedy is doomed.

Tired of hearing it (2, Insightful)

slusich (684826) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813847)

Seems like every six months or so now, there's some new research promising new hope for AIDS.
I really hope that this turns into something, but until one of these new finds turns into a cure or at least a vaccine I'll still be seeing freinds die.
I'm just sick of hearing of new breakthroughs and then not hearing another word about them.

How many friends??? (2, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814033)

I don't mean to be insensitivity or brash. I am very hopeful this will turn into a cure. But statements like "I'll still be seeing friends die" sounds like lies to me - how many friends with HIV can you actually have?

When it comes down to it - HIV and AIDS are very easily preventable diseases. Anyone who takes proper minimal precautions will not get HIV or AIDS, unless they are maliciously targetted or woth in a health-related field and/or are VERY unlucky.

Personally I have always felt the absolutely enormous amounts of money funneled into AIDS research would be much better spent on areas like Type 1 diabetes, MLS, and other genetic diseases, which affect far more people and is not preventable in any way.

In the end, it of course all comes down to the all mighty dollar. The reason you see so much money pumped into HIV/AIDS is there is so much potential for money to be MADE FROM IT. If someone has HIV/AIDS they will pay ANYTHING for a cure. Someone with Type I diabetes can live a full life, even if the quality of it is degraded. You can't say the same for an AIDS patient, even if it is their fault they became infected.

Re:How many friends??? (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814255)

A person I know recently came upon a nasty car accident and provided aid to the driver, including mouth to mouth until the proper authorities arrived, getting the victim's blood all over him including his mouth. Later he learned that the accident victim, who survived, was infected by AIDS. They immediately put him on medication to hopefully block it, but now he's living on pins and needles hoping he did not get infected.

AIDs is not as big of a problem in western nations as it is in some parts of Africa, where a huge percentage of the population is infected, If a low cost drug can be created to block it it will help a lot of people.

Re:How many friends??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814425)

And that is why I'm a cold-hearted prick that wouldn't help a fellow human being out of a paper bag.

How many cures??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814261)

"But statements like "I'll still be seeing friends die" sounds like lies to me - how many friends with HIV can you actually have?"

Is there a limit? Anyway he/she could be a caretaker.

"When it comes down to it - HIV and AIDS are very easily preventable diseases. Anyone who takes proper minimal precautions will not get HIV or AIDS, unless they are maliciously targetted or woth in a health-related field and/or are VERY unlucky."

You left out people who need blood products.

"Personally I have always felt the absolutely enormous amounts of money funneled into AIDS research would be much better spent on areas like Type 1 diabetes, MLS, and other genetic diseases, which affect far more people and is not preventable in any way."

Somehow this sounds like the KDE vs Gnome vs everyone else debate. What makes you think that the money that's going to AIDS is in any way taking away from other research?

"In the end, it of course all comes down to the all mighty dollar."

Partially. It also comes down to the "image" one will gain as the discoverer of "A CURE!". Plus the AIDS demographic does have a great deal of political and monetary influence. And last there's simple human compassion and the desire to help.

Re:How many friends??? (2, Informative)

slusich (684826) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814405)

In the last 10 years I've lost 4 friends to AIDS. Two were gay. One had an unhealthy relationship with IV drugs. We still don't know how the last one contracted it.

Two close relatives have died, and one more is currently living with being HIV+.

I'm sorry if you don't believe me. Doesn't matter if you do or don't. Was just putting in my two cents.

Re:How many friends??? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814571)


wow, im sorry to hear that but even you have to admit that you are on the statistically short end of the stick here. It is fairly unusual for anyone not involved in AIDS care to know that many people with HIV.

Still, im sorry for you losses.

Re:How many friends??? (1)

pnattress (1002576) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814407)

When it comes down to it - HIV and AIDS are very easily preventable diseases. Anyone who takes proper minimal precautions will not get HIV or AIDS
I think this is just plain wrong, pure and simple. It may be true to a certain degree in the West, but in Africa where 15 million have died [avert.org] from AIDS, and 24 million are infected, it's clearly not so 'easy' to prevent. Besides, to suggest that a person's treatment should be based on their 'worthiness' just stinks of wrong to me. Should we stop researching skin cancer because people don't know how to use sunscreen? Or maybe stop curing venereal diseases because people should be using condoms?

Re:How many friends??? (5, Insightful)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814581)

It may be true to a certain degree in the West, but in Africa where 15 million have died from AIDS, and 24 million are infected, it's clearly not so 'easy' to prevent.

Errr... the problem with HIV/AIDS in Africa is a cultural and economic one, not one of "can't be prevented."

The use of condoms drastically reduces infection rates. The problem that I've been reading about in Africa is that condoms are not utilized because they interfere too much in the love making process (ie, takes too long to put them on, and they're too expensive). A prototype device is being introduced here [dezeen.com] to try and address those issues.

Spread of this disease is preventable (which was the GP post's point); efforts to educate and provide the protection would be immediately effective versus waiting for a scientific cure... which would also have to be made available cheaply enough to help impoverished Africa (ie, not for many years after being made available on the market).

Re:How many friends??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814735)

"but in Africa where 15 million have died from AIDS, and 24 million are infected, it's clearly not so 'easy' to prevent. "

Is it somehow transmitted differently in Africa, or is it still sex and IV drug use there too? Is it like cooties there or something?

And since those are both voluntary behaviors, I'm not sure what your point is.

"I think this is just plain wrong, pure and simple"

If you are talking about your post there, then yes. If you're talking about GP, no.

Sex is the cause of AIDS is Africa too. Stop pretending that fucking someone that's infected is somehow a requirement of daily life there.

Re:How many friends??? (3, Insightful)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814519)

If you don't mean to be insensitive or brash, why are you being that way?

I have lost two people so far to this disease in my life, and I have more than 5 friends that are HIV+ today.

To say that type 1 diabetes, a treatable disease, deserves more money than HIV/AIDS research is absolutely ludicrious. Type 1 diabetes will kill you if left untreated. HIV/AIDS will kill you, period. The retrovirals help extend your life, but have no doubt, it is a terminal disease. Have you ever seen someone die of HIV/AIDS? Please go down to Africa and explain to the people living with HIV and AIDS there that they aren't as important as a diabetes patient.

Are you aware how expensive the medication to treat HIV is? Compare that to the cost of insulin then get back to me.

Re:How many friends??? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814563)

When it comes down to it - HIV and AIDS are very easily preventable diseases. Anyone who takes proper minimal precautions will not get HIV or AIDS, unless they are maliciously targetted or woth in a health-related field and/or are VERY unlucky.
- peopple get infected with HIV by mistake all the time, there are many cases of tainted blood transfusions across the world. Also some of those infected with the virus spread it on purpose, they feel that if they got it, they should take as many people with them as possible.

Personally I have always felt the absolutely enormous amounts of money funneled into AIDS research would be much better spent on areas like Type 1 diabetes, MLS, and other genetic diseases, which affect far more people and is not preventable in any way. - whatever is spent on HIV treatment may come back with unexpected results into virus treatement in general.

Finding a way to kill HIV in blood and tissues maybe used for many other viruses that are more common. Curing AIDS may just give us the way to cure flues, Heps, Herpes, Mono and many other virus caused illnesses.

Re:How many friends??? (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814585)

"I don't mean to be insensitivity"

you failed

"HIV and AIDS are very easily preventable diseases."

So is the common cold, and the method is pretty similar, just never touch anybody else.

"even if it is their fault they became infected"

The real reason that you don't want to see money spent on AIDS research, your basic belief that they deserved what they got. Good thing you're never done anything stupid in your life.

Lung cancer and diabetes are also due to lifestyle, but nobody is blaming the victims they way they do with AIDS.

Re:How many friends??? (1)

Sax Maniac (88550) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814837)

Lung cancer and diabetes are also due to lifestyle, but nobody is blaming the victims they way they do with AIDS.

The OP said type 1 (aka juvenile) diabetes, which is not preventable and has nothing to do with lifestyle. Type 1 is an auto-immune disease, where the insulin-producing cells are killed off by the body. Type 2 (aka adult-onset) can be associated with lifestyle, but isn't always. My father-in-law got type 2 simply by getting old, not fat.

Re:Tired of hearing it (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814095)

I really hope that this turns into something
I was about to say that this will depend on the pharmcos being able to patent it (or modify it into something they can patent) and then charge $20,000 per treatment, but someone below beat me to the punch...

Tired of hearing bitching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814449)

Oh lookie, another "I hate patents/Pharcos" post. Here's a solution you socialist lover, you. Why don't you get your government to not only do all the research, but all the testing (both human and otherwise) to see if it's safe for everyone, and accept the liability for those that fall between the cracks.* Set up a factory and mass-produce it to all commers. That way everyone's happy including the people who hate patents and pharmalogical companies. BTW did I mention the money for this comes out of your pocket. Hope you're up to it.

*Although since this is AIDS we're talking about...hmmm.

Re:Tired of hearing it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814307)

I don't mean to be insensitive either, but maybe instead of complaining about your friends dying and waiting for a cure or vaccine you should do more to help educate your friends on the many ways to avoid contact with HIV. If your friends continue to share needles or have unprotected sex or whatever they are doing to catch HIV and they know how to prevent it, then maybe you should start hanging out with different people. It doesn't seem very bright to continue doing something when you know there is a good chance of catching something like HIV from it. And don't tell me all of your dying friends got HIV from blood transfusions or from coming into contact with contaminated blood while just going about their business. People have choices. If you make bad choices you can't really complain about the consequences.

Re:Tired of hearing it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814599)

People have choices.

Maybe. Maybe not. According to science, everything that happens (including human behavior) is under the control of the laws of physics. Unless people can modify the laws of physics then they may not, fundamentally, have control of their "choices". But I digress...

If you make bad choices you can't really complain about the consequences.

But if you make a "good" choice then you can complain about the consequences? Who decides what is a "good" choice and what is a "bad" choice?

Maybe what you meant is that people should face the consequences of the risks they take. The thing is, just about anything that a person does is risky. Driving your family to church on Sunday is risky. Should the government avoid spending any money on traffic safety and emergency reponse to traffic accidents because a family driving to church on Sunday should bear the consequences of the risks it took.

You may think that the government should not try to deflect the consequences for people who take risks by having multiple sexual partners. Someone else might think that the government should not try to deflect the consequences for people who take risks by driving their family to church on Sunday. Personally, I'm not comfortable with the government deciding what is "good" behavior and "bad" behavior.

Not only that but there can be indirect benefits to having the government alleviate consequences of taking risks. If the government could ever find a true cure for AIDS then AIDS could be wiped out entirely and then no one would have to worry about infection from even "good" behavior (e.g. helping a bloody accident victim who has AIDS).

Re:Tired of hearing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814323)

I really hope that this turns into something, but until one of these new finds turns into a cure or at least a vaccine I'll still be seeing freinds die

I hate to disappoint you, but even if they come up with a one pill cure for AIDS, you're still going to see friends and family die as long as you have any friends and family. And the older you get, the more of them you'll see die. My Grandmother died at age 99, she'd seen all of her friends die.

As to your friends dying of aids, well, there are ways for them to minimize the risk. Tell them.

  • stop sharing needles. Better yet, stop shooting drugs.
  • stop having anal intercourse. HIV is a blood disease, and the anal tissues tear easily.
  • if you must have anal intercourse, make sure it's someone else's anus.
  • get circumsized. Of course, that won't help if it's someone else's penus and your anus, but if you are a man it will help prevent your catching HIV from a woman.
  • use a goddamned condom you dumbfucks! None of my girlfriends would let me come anywhere near them without a condom, and any woman that would let me put an unwrapped penus in is a womman I wouldn't want to put it in. As my favorite girlfriend says, "no glove, no love".
I've discovered this newer thing called a "female condom." They've been out since the late 80s (according to wikipedia) but they're hard to find in stores, one of my GFs had some she picked up when she got tested. It's almost like sex without a condom!

-mcgrew

Re:Tired of hearing it (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814705)


Re: the female condom.

I keep hearing very conflicting reports on the effectivness value of these condoms. some people say they arent as reliable (harder to use effectivly) some people say they are no better than regular condoms. I believe you are the first person I have heard praising them for the quality of sensation.

Do you have any more info on these? testimonials? advice? Ive been OK with regular condoms thus far but if you are telling me these actually provide a superior sensation then it is worth looking into.

Re:Tired of hearing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814441)

I'm just sick of hearing of new breakthroughs and then not hearing another word about them.


It's a pity but, assuming it works, there's a 10-15 years lag from discovery to commercial drug. More so now that current treatments are somewhat working, so people is less desperate to try new experimental things.
But, sometimes things go bad, and promising lines of investigation have to be abandoned.
The good thing is that, even when things go bad, we keep going forward because we learn new things.
We need to be patient, and don't forget that prophylactic measures is the best way we have to fight AIDS.

Re:Tired of hearing it (1)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814559)

Unfortunately, from the description, I don't see this as being any kind of a cure; it's described as preventing the HIV-1 virus from infecting cells and multiplying. That doesn't do anything to eradicate the virus in your system; since they've established that viri can remain dormant for long periods of time, as soon as you stopped receiving VRIP, the virus would be able to infect cells and multiply. What it would do is halt progression of an HIV-1 infection, either allowing someone infected with HIV to live a reasonably normal life without having the disease progress or giving time for treatment with antivirals to eradicate the HIV-1 virus from the body.

Re:Tired of hearing it (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814805)

And I've heard of monumental progress toward the treatment of MS and MD, but yet nothing difinitive. It is the way of the world with research. A new discovery ignites a glimmer of hope long enough to carry us to the next new discovery, which gives us a little more hope...

It is far better than hopelessness, but I understand your pain.

Unnatural selection (1)

bagsc (254194) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813879)

"Tweaks to its amino acid components boosted its anti-HIV potency by two orders of magnitude."

Considering that we've known about 1% of the population is naturally immune to HIV, if we can use these tweaks to increase that percentage by two orders of magnitude...

Goodbye, Darwin. Hello, future.

Re:Unnatural selection (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814025)

Goodbye, Darwin. Hello, future.

Not quite... natural selection will still be at work, but now it will be the folks that have some fundamentalist belief or physical inhibition to having this done to them will be slowly selected out. For instance, I'd put money that if the human race survives a few thousand more years, that antibiotic allergies will be selected out of the gene pool.

Re:Unnatural selection (2, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814321)

I'd put money that if the human race survives a few thousand more years, that antibiotic allergies will be selected out of the gene pool.

Is the correllary true? That if the human race diminishes we will not have acess to this AIDS technology? The pool will be "closed", so to speak?

Humans said goodbye to Darwin years ago (2, Insightful)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814219)

Humans have been circumventing Darwin for centuries. The only thing left we don't control are viruses and cancer. And it's not like it's such a bad thing, with the exception of stupid people living so long. Modern society, with it's welfare, social security, laws, birth control, medicine, and safety regulations all fly in the face of natural selection. If you're stupid, we have all these laws and people looking out for you to keep you from doing something stupid and killing youself. If you're lazy, we'll make sure someone gets you food so you don't starve. If you're not a dominant member of the herd, we'll try to make sure those that are treat you fairly.

Once again, those aren't by any means bad things (unless Idiocracy was a doumentary), just saying we've been immune to most aspects of natural selection for a long time now.

Re:Humans said goodbye to Darwin years ago (1)

nnnneedles (216864) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814279)

natural selection is always at work. It might be less brutal now, but it's still there.

Re:Humans said goodbye to Darwin years ago (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814469)

I suppose, but lets say it no nonger works to the advantage of the species. Natural selection should select the most fit to survive. That would be the smart, strong, fast, cunning, etc. Now, in this false environment we've created for ourselves, about the only people being selected for are the ones who don't use birth control. Natural selection assumes that the most desirable of the species will be the most prolific maters. While this still may be generally true, mating no longer means offspring. Which really screws up natural selection. I suppose it still occurs in the sense that there is a cross-section of the population being selected for, but I'd say we've broken the system.

Re:Humans said goodbye to Darwin years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814723)

Are you trying to win some kind of contest or something?

Is good enough not good enough?

So, I wonder... why doesn't the body make more? (4, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813907)

non-toxic even at very high concentrations

Does this stuff affect other viruses? (Is it something that evolved for this reason?) If so, why doesn't the body make more of it already? Would that be too biologically expensive, or would that have problematic effects we haven't recognized yet?

Sythesis (2, Insightful)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813923)

'Tweaks to its amino acid components boosted its anti-HIV potency by two orders of magnitude. Tests also showed that some derivatives of the molecule are highly stable in human blood plasma, and non-toxic even at very high concentrations. A synthetic version of VIRIP also proved effective at blocking HIV, excluding the possibility that some other factor was responsible. VIRIP targets a sugar molecule which HIV uses to infect a host cell. '"

Yes, but how effective. Generally, drug companies synthesize naturally occurring compounds (effedrine vs. psuedoeffedrine) to remove nasty side effects and improve performance. However, this systhesis also allows the companies to patent their drug formulations and charge exhorbitant amounts of money for they molecular forgeries. In this case, I wonder how "proved effective" matches up with a two orders of magnitude boost in potency. Everyone needs to see a return on investment, but if there is no reason to make a synthetic version and the (tweaked) naturally occuring version works as well or better, I would hope seeing return on investment is translated as "lives saved" and not "dollars earned."

But (-1, Offtopic)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813925)

Dr. Acula noted that the blood must be freshly drawn, preferably from attractive, college-aged girls, while they are naked and possibly thinking about having sex. Indeed, the unclothed nature of the victim/donor is essential to the researcher's primary method of drawing the blood - through biting and sucking. Donors reported not really remembering much about the experiment, but did think that Dr. Acula was "magnetic" and that their time with him had been "special".

meh i say, meh! (1)

evangellydonut (203778) | more than 6 years ago | (#18813987)

with monthly posts on slashdot about cure for HIV/AIDS, it's practically a none-event...

in other news, my father recently claimed that he's getting close to a viable HIV vaccine. *shrugs* of course since he's no longer in academia, it's about patents and trade secrets, so there won't be any disclosures until something is ready for stage 1 clinical trial. (i'm actually serious about this claim, but i also realize it does sound like a joke, hehe... i knew there's a reason he received a few mil in funding from NIH...)

Re:meh i say, meh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814789)

Funded by NIH?

Well, in that case his research is in the public domain!

Next question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18813995)

How long before the "tweaks" and synthesised equivalent are patented and priced out of the range of the people who need these treatments most?

Personally.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814001)

I'm holding out for Iran's cure.

BREAKING NEWS (0, Offtopic)

Huxley_Dunsany (659554) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814009)

This just in - President Roslin has confirmed that Cylon blood can temporarily cure cancer! Ahh, blood - is there anything it can't do? Huxley

early or late stage? (1)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814021)

makes me wonder... is this treatment only valid for early stages of infection (before the virus has had must time to reproduce) or will it work in the later stages, after the body has become totally infected?

Re:early or late stage? (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814515)

Any infection is a constant state of body-trying-to-disinfect, the infectant-trying-to-reinfect. Anything that sets back propagation generally causes a reversal of the infection for this reason.

C//

Re:early or late stage? (1)

swalters1 (1008477) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814687)

HIV is problematic, not just because of the infected T cells attempting to take over the body, but because it allows opportunistic diseases to inhabit the body. Many of which are easily fought off by a healthy individual, but if left too long in an unhealthy host can become terminal. In short, no one dies from AIDS directly, they die from the diseases that take over the body because of the compromised immune system. These range from simple infections, to forms of cancer. Yes we all know what caused the secondary infections, and so they did die from AIDS... but you get the point.

So I'll answer your quesiton this way. Assuming that the person in question hasn't contracted a secondary terminal disease or other ailment, then yes it probably will reverse it. I fear that for those in the later stages this may help prevent further infections and help bolster the immune system, but not end the process. If the body can recover, with the help of other medications and then fight off the secondary diseases... the patient would live, but it's also possible for late stage patients to have contracted irreversable problems that would still end in death.

Eventually we'll see articles on Slashdot that read, "Cure for Aids Found! Research begins on cures secondary infectious diseases still killing patients.

*Crosses his fingres* Well, even that would be a nice change wouldn't it?

Anti-HIV virus (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814029)

A couple years back I read an article about possibly using the HIV virus itself to create an anti-HIV virus. With it's STD origins, they even joked that the anti-HIV virus could also be transmitted sexually, so it would be a cheap way of inoculating the world. Though I haven't heard any updates since. If this was possible, it wouldn't be interesting to companies because once it was out, noone would need to get it from a doctor, they could just sleep with whomever carried it. Different ways at looking at things.

Re:Anti-HIV virus (1)

guamman (527778) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814733)

If that was the case, the entire population of Slashdot readers would still have to be inoculated by their doctor.

Re:Anti-HIV virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814751)

It's true what they say: the only surefire way to prevent STDs is promiscuity.

Vampires already know this (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814035)

No wonder why I've never heard of a vampire getting AIDS, and they are constantly exposed to tainted blood.

virus mutation (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814047)

HIV mutates very quickly, it is able to survive in the body because it changes so often which also means that if this treatment works as well as they say and gets used alot, the virus will likely adapt to survive against it. eventually we will have the same problem with this treatment as we do with antibiotics.

Not entirely true (1)

geek (5680) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814305)

The biggest problem with AIDs is that it wasn't dealt with correctly from the start. I think it took something like 6 years before President Regean even admitted publicly there was a problem. The rapid spread royally screwed us and the rest of the world. If this works it could buy us time to reign that spread in and drasticly reduce it's rate of propogation. We don't need and can't expect a complete victory. This would merely give us a chance at control.

Cure for viruses Generally (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814061)

Perhaps somebody who can translate medicalese into English can tell us if this would hold promise for other viruses such as influenza, rabies, yellow fever, etc that kill millions every year.

While AIDS is horrible and we all hope for a cure, I would like to see a more generalized anti-viral approach that would cure viral disease universally. Hopefully all the research expended on AIDS will have some cross-over applications.

Re:Cure for viruses Generally (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814195)

You have a good point here and the answer is they should. They probably won't get as much attention as an HIV cure. It unfortunately will come down to money and a decent portion is being thrown towards HIV. HIV also has the media's attention at the moment, so it might be awhile before we see anything.

Carriers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814079)

Wouldn't this just turn whoever got this treatment into a carrier instead? If its attaching to the sugar shell around the virus, then it isn't really killing it, just stopping it from infecting a cell. There's no way it can catch everything, so at best this is probably just slowing the progression down on several orders of magnitude. (Which with how long it can take HIV to turn into AIDS, could be longer than the average person's lifespan, granted.) However does it actually ELIMINATE the virus? I'm not sure I'd call this a "cure".

YOU7 FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814083)

is busy infighti8g Slashdot's

Proof is in the pudding... (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814085)

or so the saying goes. This sounds very promising, but it will be at least 7 years until the treatment would be seen by the masses unless they let it take the fast track through the FDA. Even then it would still 4-5 years. It seems like they still have at least 1-2 years of research to verify it is specifically this amino acid chain and not a combination of something else. The other issue you run into is what long term effect this will have on the human body. While they 'think' it does not have any nasty side effects they won't really know until they start doing human testing in clinical studies. As I said, it looks promising but is probably still 7 years off.

Re:Proof is in the pudding... (3, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814357)

Actually the saying goes "The proof of the pudding is in the eating". The saying is one of the oldest in our language. Only recently has it been shortened and corrupted to "The proof is in the pudding". The meaning of the original is quite clear while "The proof is in the pudding" makes no sense at all.

OberGrammarFuehrer von Umlaut at your service!

/clicks heels

Maybe we've been here before... (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814133)

That sounds to me like maybe humans, or apes, have faced something like this before and still have low-level semi-functional stuff in place to deal with it, and in a couple generations the descendents of people with the best expression of this would become tolerant or immune to HIV.

Re:Maybe we've been here before... (2)

geek (5680) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814253)

Remember that AIDs is a plague to both chimps and cats. It's been around a while but has mutated multiple times. It's not surprising there is something in our blood that will fight it, whether or not it can win is another story and these guys have a long way to prove it.

It reads like this on Etherealworld Slashdot (3, Funny)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814143)

"Patch found for AIDS vulnerability in human bodies."

Re:It reads like this on Etherealworld Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814833)

Ethereal is now called Wireshark [wireshark.org]

why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814181)

God hates queers, but science loves them.

Why is God such a fucking God-awful asshole?

It's HIV not AIDS (1)

bradavon (1066358) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814185)

There is a difference. The article title very cleary says HIV. At least get your facts straight. Interesting though cheers.

Re:It's HIV not AIDS (1)

cjdkoh (991723) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814315)

oh. i always thought that AIDS was caused by HIV, and thus curing HIV cured AIDS. i'm not a medical expert, so am i wrong then?

Re:It's HIV not AIDS (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814835)

AIDS *results* from HIV infection, it's an immuno-defficiency syndrome (says so in the name!)
not a disease i.e; you end up prone to infection by any random pathogen you are exposed to.
It sounds like this protein inhibits viral infection, with no indication as to whether or not
it can wipe-out an existing infection: If you no T-cells left it's of little benefit to have
something which prevents them from being killed.

Human Blood May Contain A Cure For AIDS (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814463)

Human Blood May Contain A Cure For AIDS
The only cure is in the blood of JESUS. Now stop bein faggot's y'all.

Yeah right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814477)

Drug companies don't produce cures, just treatments. This won't happen anytime soon as all those companies making billions now from treatments will probably do something to hinder this research.

Here's A Cure For Aids: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814491)

Quit having anonymous gay ass sex and quit sharing needles.

What's that word, again? (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 6 years ago | (#18814713)

Ah yes, irony.

But that's pretty damn cool:) Here's to hoping it actually works and makes it to market.

Even if this research leads to a solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18814793)

..it's unlikely we'll see the fruits of this research available on the market, at least in the States. Pharmaceutical companies aren't exactly interested in providing cures for disease and, for the most part, concentrate on developing and marketing suppressant drugs that require prescriptions and refills. Publicly traded pharmaceutical companies don't profit from cures and, from a shareholder's point of view, profits take priority over cures. Ensuring that people have to keep refilling prescriptions and popping more and more pills guarantees income and increases market share value.

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