We all got really excited a few weeks ago when researchers announced they'd removed HIV from human immune cells using new gene-editing technology called CRISPR/Cas-9, or 'CRISPR' for short, which works like a pair of molecular scissors to cut and paste DNA. As far as we know, that specific result is holding up just fine, but a separate study has now revealed that, worryingly, HIV can evolve to survive CRISPR attacks in just two weeks. Even worse, the attack itself could actually be introducing mutations that make the virus stronger.
11 April 2016 | ScienceAlert
A series of media outlets have erroneously reported that scientists may be just three years away from developing a cure for HIV. This false claim traces to an article published in the United Kingdom’s The Telegraph concerning researchers who recently succeeded in editing HIV’s genetic code out of immune cells in a laboratory setting.
06 April 2016 | Poz
A specialised gene editing system designed by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University is paving the way to an eventual cure for patients infected with HIV. In a study published online this month in the Nature journal, Scientific Reports, the researchers show that they can both effectively and safely eliminate the virus from the DNA of human cells grown in culture.
23 March 2016 | Temple University
An immune-enhancing treatment can push SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) out of its hideouts in infected monkeys that have the virus controlled with drugs, scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University report.
26 February 2016 | Emory Health Sciences
Subjects from SB-728-1101 cohort 3* remain off antiretroviral therapy for over a year Immunologic and reservoir analyses suggest mechanism for viral load control.
26 February 2016 | Sangamo Biosciences press release
With a custom enzyme made through coerced evolution, researchers selectively and reliably sliced HIV sequences from a number of cell types: bacteria, human cell lines used in research, in cells collected from patients with HIV infections, and in “humanized” mice with HIV. Though the strategy is early in development—far from clinical use—the data so far points to an effective and safe way to help drug treatments completely finish off HIV infections.
24 February 2016 | Ars Technica
New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that adenosine deaminase enhances anti-HIV-1 specific immune responses by reducing the action of cells that impede HIV-specific defenses
03 February 2016 | Eurekalert Medicine & Health
“Our study indicates that this small viral protein, Tat, directly binds to about 400 human genes to generate an environment in which HIV can thrive. Then, this protein precisely turns off the body’s immune defense. It is striking that such a small viral protein has such a large impact,” Dr. D’Orso said.
28 January 2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The latest study appears to show a different type of "sanctuary," as the researchers called it, harboring cells with low levels of HIV replication that move into the blood. This suggests that virus growth could occur in a place where drug concentrations are very low.
28 January 2016 | Washington Post
A compound developed to protect the nervous system from HIV surprised researchers by augmenting the effectiveness of an investigational antiretroviral drug beyond anything expected. The potency of the combination treatment, tested so far in mice, suggests that it would be possible to rid the body of HIV for months, reducing the frequency with which patients must take these medications from daily to several times a year.
27 January 2016 | National Institute of Mental Health