Monday, December 3, 2018

Scientists unveil promising new HIV vaccine strategy

Env is a protein involved in the HIV virus. Scientists have known its function and purpose in the virus for a while, but have not been able to produce a vaccine that counteracts it, until recently. The purpose of Env proteins is to break into host cells and cause infection. They can change their shapes to get into different cells through different receptors, and that's why it has been so difficult to create a vaccine targeting them. The new vaccine should be able to modify a short section of the Env protein, and keep it in the "pre-infectious" state, so that even if it does get into the cell it cannot infect it. This vaccine has worked in mice and rabbits and is currently being tested on monkeys. The scientists claim that this vaccine elicited antibodies in just 8 weeks in mice, making it the first vaccine to elicit such a desirable response.
This vaccine could be a great step forward in the field of medicine. Creating a vaccine for HIV would help so many people live longer, healthier lives. If this vaccine makes it to the public, it will definitely take off. We have been searching for an HIV vaccine for so long, and it's so reassuring that there has been a breakthrough. Getting rid of HIV would be such an advantage to humans because now we wouldn't have to worry about passing on the disease or receiving it from someone else. Many cases of HIV transmittance happen because people are unaware that they have the disease, so creating a vaccine would get rid of that all together. I think this is an excellent use of resources, and I hope this vaccine proves successful.


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