Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stem cell therapy against HIV in mice

Sorry I haven't posted in while.... I've had quite an intense week of exams! I recently finished an immunology module in biology, so this article particulary caught my attention:

Stem cell therapy effective against HIV (in mice)!

The way it works is by replacing the mouse's immune system with stem cells engineered with a triple combination of HIV-resistant genes.

The scientists running the trial, were able to block HIV infection, maintain a normal immune system in the mice, even though the virus was still there. The resistant immune cells were able to maintain a normal immune cell level and maintain a functional immune system.

If in the future these trials in humans proved successful, it could allow patients to stop taking antiretroviral drugs as the genetically resistant stem cells wiould be able to fight off the virus in the body.

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