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It often seems like world is going to Hell in a hurry. People are becoming ever more pessimistic and disillusioned. In troubled times, I think it’s therapeutic to get some good news once in a while. And nothing redeems the human race like finding a cure for a widespread disease. That’s why we should all feel a little more optimistic about the future now that German scientists have developed a potential cure for HIV.
HIV, the virus that causes the onset of AIDS, embeds its own instructions in the nuclear DNA of host cells. It lays dormant there, camoflaged among our normal DNA, sometimes for many years, being copied as cells divide and becoming inseparable from its unfortunate carrier. Until now.
“The researchers engineered an enzyme called Tre which removes the virus from the genome of infected cells by recognizing and then recombining the structure of the virus’s DNA.”
“That enzyme was able to eliminate the HIV virus from infected human cells in about three months in the laboratory.”
These hopeful laboratory results are merely the first steps on the long path to producing a drug that is approved for use on human patients, but proof that we have the technology today to attack the virus on its own level. Unlike a vaccine, which can only prevent a virus from infecting new victims, this could actually be a cure, a pardon from the long, lonely death sentence that is AIDS. That’s what I call good news.