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Feb 29, 2008

Investigators Identify Human Gene that Bars HIV in Culture

  • Researchers from the University of Alberta and University of Pennsylvania discovered a gene that is able to block HIV. They say that TRIM22 blocks HIV infection in a cell culture by preventing the assembly of the virus.

    “Interestingly, when we prevent cells from turning on TRIM22, the normal interferon response is useless at blocking HIV infection,” says Stephen Barr, Ph.D., one of the authors and a researcher in the department of medical microbiology & immunology at Alberta.

    Dr. Barr’s team is now trying to figure out why this gene does not work in people infected with HIV and if there is a way to turn this gene on in those individuals.

    The study is reported in the February 29 online edition of PLoS Pathogens.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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