Tuesday, February 04, 2003

So a modified chimpanzee virus may protect genetically-modified mice from a human disease. So what? Too bad researchers don't expend more effort trying to protect humans from HIV. Here's more on why such mad science is a waste of time and money.

MICE PROTECTED AGAINST HUMAN VIRUS

Fighting Fire With Fire? Vaccine Based On Chimp Virus Shows Promise Against HIV

In a new study in mice, a modified form of an innocuous chimpanzee virus has shown marked potency as a protective vaccine against HIV, itself believed to have crossed into the human population from chimpanzees sometime in the 1930s....

Because HIV infects only humans and chimpanzees, the current study used a sophisticated mouse model to test the new vaccine....

"It's hard to say that because the vaccine works well in a mouse model, it will protect humans from HIV infection," Ertl cautions. "But we do know that the kind of immune response we saw in mice can protect non-human primates infected with SIV from developing disease."...