Scientists One Step Closer To AIDS Vaccine

September 27, 2011


AIDS: like the shitty entertainment center my neighbor set by the road, nobody wants it. But now scientists believe they're one step closer to a vaccine after discovering a method of attacking HIV before it's able to compromise an immune system. Hey, sounds good to me. The sound of myself on voicemail messages? Terrible. Like a witch scraping her nails on a chalkboard to cats dying.

When HIV enters your body, one of the first things that it does is incorporate a special type of cholesterol into its outer membrane. It steals this cholesterol from one of our immune system cells, called a plasmacytoid dendritic cell, or pDC. pDCs are the cells that first recognize the HIV virus, and they're supposed to instruct other parts of our immune system (like T-cells) to go after it, but once HIV has stolen the pDC cholesterol, it can "reprogram" the pDC cells so that they don't do their job, screwing up our entire immune system and allowing the HIV to spread.

A research group at at The Johns Hopkins University has discovered that it's possible to attack HIV before the virus is able to mess with the pDC cells, by simply disrupting its stolen cholesterol membrane. Without this membrane, the virus can't mess up our immune system, and our bodies are then able to attack it like a normal virus, effectively preventing HIV from causing AIDS.

Sounds promising, right? Of course, I still like fighting AIDS the old fashioned way. So I start with a headbutt, right? WA-BAP! Then follow that up with a couple knees to the groin, AWOOGA!, AWOOGA! If that doesn't do the trick I'll either grab a bar stool or break a bottle and start swinging that. Then I wake up and I'm all, "f***, I really gotta stop getting up in the middle of the night and eating tuna."

New technique 'disarms' HIV, could lead to AIDS vaccine [dvice]

Thanks to Cam, who never wears less than two condoms or more than six.

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