11 May 2010

Canberra boffins pioneer disease resistant pink bits

| johnboy
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ANU has announced that Dr Charani Ranasinghe from The John Curtin School of Medical Research has won a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant is for a potential AIDS vaccine which has an intriguing approach:

“Systemic HIV vaccines – which are injected into the body directly – have been routinely failing,” Dr Ranasinghe says. “We’re very hopeful about our mucosal/systemic combined vaccine. It will enable strong immune responses at all mucosal surfaces, such as genital and rectal tissue and the gut, which are the primary sites of HIV infection. This is our best shot to date.”

Before you stock up on lube and throw the rubbers away though, it’s worth noting that human trials are still many years away.

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I still remember when AIDS was going to wipe out everyone on the planet, like a giant bowling ball cutting a swath through a family.

I suspect that AIDS will be very similar to some forms of cancer – in that a reliable cure or vaccination will be very hard to find.

I still remember when AIDS stood for Anally Inserted Death Sentence…

Apparently the cure will be applied in a similar manner.

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