HIV

  • There exists a group of HIV-positive people who have a rare ability to naturally control the HIV infection. Now, after years of research, a team of scientists from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, has successfully reprogrammed cells that lack this ability, giving them the same, antiviral potency.
  • A permanent cure for HIV has remained elusive. But scientists have now made a significant breakthrough in this area, using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool to entirely remove the virus from the genomes of living animals for the first time ever. ​
  • Scientists report the “functional cure” of an HIV patient for only the second time ever. Known only as “the London patient”, the man received a transplant of bone marrow stem cells from a donor that had a resistance to the virus. The patient has now been in remission for 18 months.
  • The world’s first gene-edited human babies have been born in China. Professor Jiankui He claims that by removing a specific gene from the embryos using CRISPR-Cas9, the twin girls would have a natural immunity to HIV. But scientists question the safety, effectiveness and morality of the procedure.
  • HIV is a life sentence, but it can be managed through antiretroviral therapy. New clinical trials in humans have shown that drugs based on two antibodies naturally found in some people can put HIV into hiding for months at a time.
  • Developing a HIV vaccine has been frustrating scientists for decades due the ability of the virus to rapidly mutate. A team of researchers is now the closest they've ever been to producing a successful vaccine, with an experimental drug moving to a large-scale human trial in Southern Africa.
  • ​​Scientists at the University of Waterloo have developed a promising new medical device that could help protect women from HIV. The technology consists of a vaginal implant that basically reduces the amount of targets the virus can latch onto during sex.
  • ​There's a problem with using antiretroviral drugs to treat or prevent HIV – because multiple drugs need to be taken on a daily basis, many patients simply don't bother to keep doing so. What if they just had to take one capsule once a week, though? Scientists are working on making that a reality.
  • ​Last year, a proof-of-concept study described how the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool could be used to eliminate HIV from infected cells. In a potential step towards a permanent cure, the team has shown that the technique keeps the virus from spreading, and in latent cases, rips it from its hideout.
  • The HIV virus has completely vanished from the bloodstream of a 44-year-old man participating in a medical trial. Although more time is needed to confirm whether the result is from the new approach or from anti-HIV drugs that the patient was taking, the implications of the research are encouraging.
  • A team from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University has successfully tested a gene editing system, demonstrating its ability to eliminate the HIV-1 virus from DNA in human cells grown in culture.
  • A 17-year-old Canadian has earned first place for engineering a system that improves air quality in airplane cabins at Intel's 2015 International Science and Engineering Fair, which the company claims is the biggest high school science competition in the world.