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Reged: 03/06/07
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Scientists Identify Gene That Blocks HIV
      03/01/08 04:37 AM

Is this a good thing?

Scientists Identify Gene That Blocks HIV

American and Canadian researchers have identified a human gene called TRIM22 that can block HIV infection by preventing certain forms of the virus from replicating, CBC News reported.

In laboratory tests, the scientists found that cells in which TRIM22 was switched off couldn't defend themselves against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"This means that TRIM22 is an essential part of our body's ability to fight off HIV," Dr. Stephen Barr, a researcher in the department of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said in a prepared statement.

The study was published in the Public Library of Science journal Pathogens. Previous research had found that other genes in the TRIM family could prevent certain forms of HIV viruses from replicating, CBC News reported.

Barr and his colleagues are now investigating how TRIM22 can be switched on in people who can't defend themselves against HIV.

"We hope that our research will lead to the design of new drugs and/or vaccines that can halt the person-to-person transmission of HIV and the spread of the virus in the body, thereby blocking the onset of AIDS," said Barr, who added that this type of achievement could take decades.

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* Scientists Identify Gene That Blocks HIV Mssimone 03/01/08 04:37 AM
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