Video gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus protein that may possibly help scientists design a new AIDS drug.
The complex structure of the protein, called a protease, had baffled scientists for over a decade. Protease plays a critical role in how viruses such as HIV multiply. However, the protein’s structure had been extremely difficult to decipher, hampering the research to develop drugs that could deactivate proteases.
A program created a few years ago by the University of Washington called Foldit which transforms science problems into competitive computer games was used by researchers at the university to solve the structure. Gamers were challenged to build models of the protein using their three-dimensional problem-solving skills. more >>
The ban preventing homosexual and bisexual men from donating blood will be lifted come November in England, Scotland, and Wales.
In an attempt to prevent HIV contamination during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s when HIV testing was inadequate, the lifetime restriction was ordered. However, new medical evidence presented to a government panel showed that the ban was no longer warranted, BBC has reported.
Questions of equality have been raised, as well as medical reasoning, regarding the blood donation restriction. Ban guidelines have been under review by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs. more >>
Taiwanese officials began a probe several days ago into the accidental transplant of organs from an HIV-infected donor into four patients.
Now the minister of the health department in Taiwan has launched an investigation that will include three separate task forces into the accident that transplanted a liver, a lung, both kidneys, and a heart from an HIV infected man into patients.
The first task force will be responsible for the investigation and issuing disciplinary measures, the second will work to assist the patients and their families, and the third will work with the hospital to monitor the patients’ health. more >>
A gay couple who have taken part in a same-sex marriage ceremony are being told they may soon have to separate because one of them has been denied an application fo a I-130 Visa.
After continuous attempts to gain permanent resident status, the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Anthony Makk's application for a I-130 visa, stating that due to constraints of the Defense of Marriage Act, the couple cannot use their marriage as a basis for Makk's residency.
Makk, a native of Australia married Bradford Wells seven years ago in Massachusetts. Since then he argues that he has started a business employing others, and has invested in real estate in order to fulfill visa requirements. more >>
There were on average 50,000 cases of new HIV infections a year across the U.S. over the past four years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, according to science journal PLoS ONE, the largest increase has come among bisexual and men who have sex with other men (MSM).
The journal highlights that the new infection rate amongst black bisexual and black MSM had particularly “alarming increases”.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden has said, “More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, about 50,000 people in this country still become infected each year. Not only do men who have sex with men continue to account for most new infections, young gay and bisexual men are the only group in which infections are increasing, and this increase is particularly concerning among young African American MSM.” more >>
Researchers at Columbia University have developed a chip that could revolutionize disease diagnosis in third world countries. The scientists have created a plastic chip that can diagnose HIV and syphilis within 15 minutes.
The “mChip,” a piece of plastic, about the size of a credit card and costing just two to three dollars can analyze the blood sample from a pin prick with the help of an equally cheap optical sensor, and detect viruses and diseases that usually take weeks to conclude in third world countries.
While HIV testing in developed counties such as the United States takes only a few days or even hours, in developing counties, such as many in Africa, testing administered at clinics in remote regions must be sent to national labs for analysis and can take weeks for results to return. more >>