science!

‘Smart Bomb’ Could Blow Up HIV From The Inside Out

It could be a major step toward battling drug-resistant HIV. Or it could work only in mice and not in humans! So don’t get your hopes up? Either way John Rossi and his colleagues at the City of Hope hospital in California engineered a molecule, called chimaera, that “curbs viral replication inside infected cells and neutralizes free-floating virus, could help patients who have developed resistance to HIV drugs.” Rossi calls the molecule a “smart bomb,” which is certainly one way to make HIV sound sexy. Scientific American relays that “chimaera is not new, but this is the first time it has been tested in animals. To test the chimaera, the team used mice engineered to be susceptible to HIV. When the researchers injected mice with either the chimaera or the aptamer alone, the amount of virus circulating in the animals’ blood fell markedly. The chimaera, however, was more potent and suppressed the virus for a week longer than just the aptamer.”