12/21/2014

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Researchers create molecule that makes HIV self-destruct

Despite significant advances in HIV research, AIDS still kills 2 million people around the world every year. But researchers at Drexel University have created a molecule that tricks the virus into self-destructing before it infects healthy cells.

GIZMODO reports:

Like all viruses, HIV works by latching onto healthy cells and inserting its DNA, turning the cells into factories that fill up with HIV and burst. Drexel University's Dual Action Virolytic Entry Inhibitor, or DAVEI, combines a modified component of HIV's cell-binding mechanism with a protein that tricks the virus into opening its protective coating. DAVEI selectively binds HIV and makes the virus react as if it's attached to a cell, spitting out its contents. By scattering the components of the virus and destroying the capsule needed to insert them into a cell, DAVEI renders the virus harmless.

The video below describes DAVEI beautifully, or you can read the original news release from Drexel.
 

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