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GEN’s editor in chief, John Sterling, interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Tiny variants in a protein that alerts the immune system to the presence of infection may underlie the rare ability of some individuals to control HIV infection without the need for medications. In a recent paper in Science Express, an international research team reports that they discovered that differences in five amino acids in the HLA-B protein are associated with whether or not HIV-infected individuals can control viral levels with their immune system only.


During this week’s podcast Dr. Robin Hardwicke, from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and one of the members of the research team, elaborates on the implications of the study for HIV treatment. She also discusses why HLA-B is such an important protein in relation to immune system functioning and describes the key role played by a genome-wide association study in the paper published in Science Express.



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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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