Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Genetic Mystery

 Subject: HIV and Elite Controllers 

Article: ¨In a first, a person's immune system fought HIV-- and won¨ 

Summary: The immune system is vital to our existence when it comes to the ability to fend diseases and illness. It's a defense system that consists of cells and tissues that form proteins and organs that detect any harmful foreign bodies. HIV, a degenerative condition attacks the immune system that can turn critical and in some cases rather lethal. HIV is a human immunological deficiency virus that infiltrates the blood system and spreads the infection at a rapid pace. In most cases if untreated can become much more serious and can develop into AIDS. In the article ¨In a first, a person's immune system fought HIV-- and won¨ a study has shown that there is a rare group of people known as the ¨elite controllers¨ whose immune system had been able to attack or isolate the disease to a point where it is nearly undetectable. While treatment had consisted of drugs to manage the disease as well as other alternatives like marrow cell transplants. HIV is a disease that takes over the immune system depleting the defense mechanism of white blood cells and antibodies.  As the disease latches onto the RNA and DNA of its host, allowing replication of the virus to occur. After studying millions of blood cells from two patients known as EC2 and EC1 what seemed to have occured is that there were whole intact viruses that had been isolated into heterochromatin. Which leaves many questions for scientists, how does the immune system know how to do this? 

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1 comment:

  1. This article is crazy because people with HIV have been thought to have a 100% chance of getting AIDS, and therefore, die of some disease because of their immunodeficiency. This is especially exacerbated by the fact that people with HIV can not show symptoms for years before developing AIDS and because the original symptoms are similar to a common cold. The fact that there are people with immune systems that can fight off this virus that is practically undetectable, both through symptoms and through scientific measures, is pretty insane. I wonder at what stage of the virus the people recovered from, since they knew about the HIV, but their immune systems were able to stop it (so it couldn't have greatly damaged the CD4 cells).