Discovery of HIV Protein Structure Change
New discovery in the HIV protein within its early stages of infection give doctors hope in finding an effective vaccine to ward off the virus.
Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell
What’s the Latest Development?
Scientists have unveiled a structural change in HIV that could possibly lead to a vaccine to protect people against the contraction of the virus. When HIV enters the immune system it launches an attack on the body’s immune cells called T cells, which are responsible for defending the immune system. According to reports, previous attempts to find treatment to ward off the infection were unsuccessful. “One challenge is that the proteins on the viral surface—the HIV envelope glycoproteins (Env)—mutate rapidly changing their shape and evading the immune system.” Scientists conducted a series of tests using techniques in order to see "the steps between Env binding to the T-cell receptor known as CD4 and the point at which the virus fuses with the cell," which is known to be the early stages of HIV infection. The findings gave researchers a better understanding of the "surface of HIV just as it is about to infect a cell."
What’s the Big Idea?
Scientists have discovered a change in the structure of glycoproteins, which occurs upon entry of the HIV protein. The glycoproteins, called Env, go into an active and inactive state, shedding light on “one of the first steps in the HIV fusion process.” It allows scientists to break more ground in creating an effective “HIV immunogens and vaccines.”
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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