Recently spotted on BodyHack, a Wired Magazine blog about medical stuff. Raised the heckles a tad, no?
"In some cases the best way to fight a fire is to light a fire of your own. But could the best way to fight AIDS possibly be with AIDS?
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are testing the idea that a modified strain of the HIV virus, called a lentivirus, could be turned into a sort of anti-AIDS guided missile that could directly target the HIV virus already in patients. Naturally safety was the primary concern.
The Scientist reports:
One safety concern with using lentiviruses as gene delivery vectors is that they might form replication-competent lentiviruses, but Levine and his colleagues found no evidence of this in any of the patients. Another concern is vector mobilization, which the researchers saw in the first 60 days after injection, but not after that. This mobilization probably doesn't mean the vector isn't safe, said Richard Sutton of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who was not involved in the study, but he acknowledged that it is "a little bit concerning. Usually we don't like these vectors to jump around once they're inside a person."
While safe, the therapy still has a long way to go before it could be used for treatment. In the trial on 5 patients, only one showed a significant decrease in their viral load. "
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for research, innovation and striving beyond the boundaries of our little human imaginations in order to help cure/prevent the most obnoxious virus of our time... But, typical Americans think that everytime there's a hope and a prayer, it's worth publishing it to the world! Doesn't that grate?
This idea is in its infancy - we've come so much further in our HIV/Aids vaccine studies - yet our media coverage is merely a dribble. Even if this "guided missile" is as potent as they hope, Africa could never afford to use it.
Ain't it kak, in a world of shrinking borders - somethings still push the third world further and further away?
As for the comments, well that just adds fuel to the stereotypical fire - the garlic and parsley brigade can bite my ass. Manto called... she wants her idea back.