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This week the University of California, Los Angeles, announced that in preliminary experiments with mice, stem cells could be engineered to kill HIV. The results were published Monday in the online journal PLoS ONE.
"We have demonstrated in this proof-of-principle study that this type of approach can be used to engineer the human immune system, particularly the T-cell response, to specifically target HIV-infected cells," lead investigator Scott Kitchen, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the Devid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a release. "These studies lay the foundation for further therapeutic development that involves restoring damaged or defective immune responses toward a variety of viruses that cause chronic disease, or even different types of tumors."
The next step? Scientists will now have to see if they can get similar results within the human body, said co-author Jerome A. Zack.
It's early days for sure, but if successful this could be a big step in ending HIV for good.
Stem Cells Can Be Engineered to Kill HIV, Scientists Show [Science Daily]
Uganda is backing down on plans to introduce a bill that would see gays facing life imprisonment or even execution.
Governments around the world expressed their concerns over the bill, though only Sweden took a hard stand on the issue; the Swedish government suggested that all aid being sent to Uganda should be stopped if the bill were to pass.
The bill is still being pushed through the legislature, though the Minister for Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo, said the law is more "refined." Gays will still be targeted for punishment, but will not be put to death. Homosexuals will likely be forced into treatment to be 'cured' of their queer tendencies. We wouldn't be surprised if torture and abuse were part of the prescription.
David Bahati, the man behind the bill, is now arguing that his bill was designed to protect children. Maybe he should be more concerned about Catholic priests ...
Uganda 'to remove death penalty from anti-gay bill' [Pink News]
Uganda to Drop Death Penalty, Life in Jail for Gays [Bloomberg.com]