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Thread: Stem cells next weapon against AIDS?

  1. #1

    Stem cells next weapon against AIDS?

    Actually, there is a very interesting stem cell option for the treatment of AIDS. The company Stemcyte has a very unusual collection of umbilical cord blood, collected form the births of children to HIV-infected mothers. These children somehow turn out to be resistant to AIDS and are not affected by the virus. They have several dozen of these units. If these can be used to replace the hematopoeitic systems of people with AIDS, producing white blood cells that are resistant to HIV infections, this could potentially be a cure for HIV-AIDS.

    Posted on Sat, Nov. 26, 2005

    Stem cells next weapon against AIDS

    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    Nearly 10 years after the development of antiviral drugs to treat HIV and AIDS, scientists are poised to attack the deadly virus with a new weapon: stem cells.
    Researchers at UCLA are working on ways to arm blood stem cells in the bone marrow against the HIV virus. Though the strategy doesn't amount to a cure, it might be more effective than current antiviral treatments and some day might have the potential to immunize people against the virus.

    The HIV virus attacks several different types of blood cells that are part of the immune system.

    The idea is to replace the gene that is vulnerable to attack with a synthetically engineered piece of DNA designed to seek out and destroy the virus. The DNA fragment is tailored to bind to the HIV virus and cut it in half, rendering it harmless.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Actually, there is a very interesting stem cell option for the treatment of AIDS . . . this could potentially be a cure for HIV-AIDS.
    Amazing. I do hope researchers will cure AIDS and not simply turn it into a chronic disease kept at by by drugs, which it is in a way now. My cynical/conspiracy-prone side thinks drug companies don't want it cured. Uh-oh, I'm starting to sound like DA...

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