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Archive for Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Research yields link that could prevent HIV

April 28, 2009


— A discovery by scientists may soon lead to a topical cream that would prevent the transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The team of researchers at the University of Central Florida, led by Alexander Cole, has revived a dormant gene found in humans and coaxed it to produce a protein that resists HIV. Cole used aminoglycosides, drugs commonly used to fight bacterial infections, to trigger production of the sleeping protein.

“There is a good chance the aminoglycosides antibiotics will be used in a topical cream as a way to prevent the transmission of HIV from men to women,” Cole said. “It could make a huge difference in the fight against HIV.”

Findings from Cole’s three-year investigation are being released today and published in this month’s PLoS Biology, a respected scientific journal.

Cole said more work — including human trials — would be needed to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of a topical cream.


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