Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HIV Researchers Use Stock Market Science To Find HIV's 'Achilles Heel'

Most HIV medicines interfere with HIV cells on the whole, using broad and sometimes systemically impacting chemicals that can fail when the virus mutates.  Some scientists have made an important breakthrough by using "random matrix theory," a method of predicting stock market trends.

That breakthrough has made it possible to identify key parts of the virus that can be targeted more effectively, mimicking the natural processes that take place in the bodies of HIV patients known as "elite controllers," individuals who are able to prevent their HIV from mutation and can control the virus effectively without medication.

"HIV is extremely mutable, which can make treatment difficult. But the new research shows that certain HIV sectors don’t usually make multiple mutations—indicating that the virus needs those regions kept intact. If targeted, they would be forced to either mutate, which would disrupt the virus, or not mutate, which would leave them open to further attack. 'Elite controllers' already hone in on those sectors naturally, while most patients’ immune systems waste time attacking other parts of the virus that can easily mutate to fend off the attack."

Research is exploding into new arenas in HIV treatment.  I wonder what kind of funding there is from big pharm to make these treatments applicable for widespread populations?

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