Researchers Decode HIV Genome

Scientists at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNCCH) have opened up many possibilities into treatment of HIV by decoding the entire structure of the HIV genome. Until now, only small portions of the genome could be studied; however, by using their own technology they were able to view the genome aerially. They discovered that the HIV genome is gigantic, consisting of two strands containing ten-thousand blocks each.

According to Kevin Weeks, the professor who led the study, the HIV genome is loaded with RNA structures that control the virus’ behavior. The genomes for hepatitis C, polio, and influenza are also RNA programmed, so by using the same technology we may gain a better insight into these diseases and also vice-versa.

New anti-viral drugs that result from this discovery most likely won’t be available for another couple years; however, this new insight may lead HIV/AIDS researchers to explore possibilities that weren’t considered before.

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