This has just hit the brazilian MSM today. A joint research between the UFPE and UFRJ, two big universities in Brazil, has succeeded in creating an
artificial HIV virus. The scientists announce that this will allow the development of a new therapeutical vaccine for AIDS patients.
The virus was obtained through cloning, using a procedure called PCR(Polimerase Chain Reaction). "With the PCR, we slice parts of the DNA and put
them together again, creating the genome of an innactive HIV virus", explains the professor of the Genetics Department of UFPE, Sergio Crovella.
The pilot prototype was developed two weeks ago, which was only possible with the financial funding of CDC in Atlanta, totalling USD $ 500,000.00 in
the last 12 months.
The research team that created the synthetic virus is the same one testing the vaccine. The vaccine is made from Dendritic Cells, the ones responsible
for immunity in the body system.
The second fase has begun recently and should last three years, with the objective of reaching 100% of efficacy in the use of the vaccines.
Crovella says that this type of vaccine could substitute the autologic vaccine, which is made from extracting the blood from the patient. The
autologic vaccine is expensive, costing USD $ 3,000.00 just to isolate the virus, while the vaccine made from the synthetic virus would cost only USD
100.00 in comparison.
Sorry, but I couldn't find an english version of this news yet, since it is very recent and coming from a portuguese speaking country. I tried my
best in translating the most important parts into this post for you guys to read it.
[edit on 27-5-2010 by henriquefd]