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A Drug To Re-Awaken Ancient Human Genes And Fight HIV
What these scientists have done could give us the first foolproof HIV vaccine. They have re-awakened the human genome's latent potential to make us all into HIV-resistant creatures. This evening in PLoS Biology, they've published their ground-breaking research.
What intrigues me, beyond the amazing idea of an AIDS vaccine, is that aminoglycosides have the potential to unlock the uses for other pieces of junk DNA. Those of you who read Greg Bear's novel Darwin's Radio know that this scenario is familiar scifi territory: In that book, humans start rapidly evolving after their junk DNA re-awakens in response to stress. Could we induce instant mutations, or gain other new immunities by using aminoglycosides on our junk DNA? What would it mean to have the whole crazy, giant human genome at our command?