Natural Immunity to HIV Could Lead to HIV Vaccine

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Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 (in green) budding from cultured lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell). Multiple round bumps on cell surface represent sites of assembly and budding of virions. (CDC / C. Goldsmith / P. Feorino / E. L. Palmer / W. R. McManus)

Scientists Identify Factors That Make People Naturally Resistant to H.I.V.

by Bob Roehr Smithsonian.com

Developing an H.I.V. vaccine has been a perplexing challenge that has mostly resulted in failure, but now scientists have identified key factors that allow some people to naturally suppress the H.I.V. virus—work that could lead to better vaccines to both treat and prevent the infection. Researchers believe they have identified crucial points on the virus’s surface where the immune system can successfully attack H.I.V.

The research, conducted by the Ragon Institute, a collaboration of various affiliates of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is presented in a new paper published in the journal Science. It builds on a study of two small groups of people who are naturally able to control the spread of H.I.V. much better than the average patient.

“What takes medicine forward is really learning from patients,” says Bruce Walker, director of the Ragon Institute and senior author of the study. “It’s seeing something in the clinic that doesn’t fit the usual pattern, like somebody who is doing really well despite being H.I.V. infected, that identifies the outliers that ultimately are so critical to explaining the whole disease process.”

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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