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A Boost to Fight HIV?

A Boost to Fight HIV?

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Animal research shows that altering a key gene that produces the CCR5 protein on the surface of immune system cells'which is a portal through which HIV attaches to and infects the cells'can significantly boost cellular resistance to the virus, according to a study in the journal Nature Biology. The technique uses a harmless virus called a 'zinc-finger nuclease' that binds to a key gene in the CCR5 protein, changing it enough so that HIV is unable to attach to it. HIV-infected mice injected with the zinc-finger nuclease virus exhibited a tenfold reduction in blood-based viral levels and a fivefold increase in the number of circulating T cells. 'What's really exciting is that the change in the genome is permanent, and inherited by all 'daughter' T cells created when the alerted T cells multiply,' said lead researcher Philip Gregory of Sangamo Biosciences told NewScientist.com. The company plans to begin human studies by the end of the year. If successful, the treatment could offer a long-lasting'perhaps permanent'way to control HIV infection.

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.