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Feb 21, 2008

Researchers Solve Structure of HIV-Inhibiting Protein

  • University of Minnesota researchers determined the structure of APOBEC3G, a protein that inhibits HIV. APOBEC3G is capable of modifying HIV DNA so that the virus is no longer infectious. HIV-1, however, has developed a way to evade this cellular protein with its own protein called Vif, which literally triggers the destruction of APOBEC3G.

    “This new information is a crucial step toward understanding how APOBEC3G and Vif talk to each other,” says Reuben Harris, Ph.D., coinvestigator and assistant professor in the department of biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics.

    “Furthermore this new information will undoubtedly help researchers identify candidate drugs for future novel HIV-1/AIDS therapies.”

    The research was reported online in Nature on February 20.



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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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