Acne Drug Prevents HIV Breakout

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Janice E. Clements, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins scientists have found that a safe and inexpensive antibiotic in use since the 1970s for treating acne effectively targets infected immune cells in which HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, lies dormant and prevents them from reactivating and replicating.

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Mouse With Human Liver: New Model for Treatment of Liver Disease

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Mice whose own liver cells have been replaced with human hepatocytes (shown in green) can be successfully infected with hepatitis B virus (shown in red) providing a new way to test novel therapies for debilitating human liver diseases.

How do you study-and try to cure in the laboratory-an infection that only humans can get? A team led by Salk Institute researchers does it by generating a mouse with an almost completely human liver. This “humanized” mouse is susceptible to human liver infections and responds to human drug treatments, providing a new way to test novel therapies for debilitating human liver diseases and other diseases with liver involvement such as malaria.

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Southern African Genomes Sequenced: Benefits for Human Health Expected

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This image shows a group of hunters from the Ju/’hoansi tribe in the Namibian Bush.

Human genomes from Southern African Bushmen and Bantu individuals have been sequenced by a team of scientists seeking a greater understanding of human genetic variation and its effect on human health. The study’s findings will be published in the journal Nature on 18 February 2010. The research was completed by scientists from American, African, and Australian research institutions, with support from Penn State University in the United States and from several U.S. companies that market DNA-sequencing instruments.

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‘Broad Spectrum’ Antiviral Fights Multitude of Viruses

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Ebola virus. A small-molecule “broad spectrum” antiviral may be able to fight a host of viruses by attacking them through some feature common to an entire class of viruses.

The development of antibiotics gave physicians seemingly miraculous weapons against infectious disease. Effective cures for terrible afflictions like pneumonia, syphilis and tuberculosis were suddenly at hand. Moreover, many of the drugs that made them possible were versatile enough to knock out a wide range of deadly bacterial threats.

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New Synthetic Molecules Trigger Immune Response To HIV And Prostate Cancer

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Artist’s rendering of viruses. Scientists have developed synthetic molecules capable of enhancing the body’s immune response to HIV and HIV-infected cells, as well as to prostate cancer cells.

Researchers at Yale University have developed synthetic molecules capable of enhancing the body’s immune response to HIV and HIV-infected cells, as well as to prostate cancer cells. Their findings, published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could lead to novel therapeutic approaches for these diseases.

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HIV Tamed By Designer ‘Leash’

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This thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted the ultrastructural details of a number of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) virus particles, or virions.

Researchers have shown how an antiviral protein produced by the immune system, dubbed tetherin, tames HIV and other viruses by literally putting them on a leash, to prevent their escape from infected cells. The insights, reported in the October 30th issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, allowed the research team to design a completely artificial protein — one that did not resemble native tetherin in its sequence at all — that could nonetheless put a similar stop to the virus.

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