Health Watch -- Research Update: 'Caging' HIV

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We’re talking about recent breakthroughs in medical research this week on Health Watch. Scientists around the world are continuing to look for new ways to fight HIV. An international effort including scientists from Germany, the Czech Republic and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas may have found a new potential weapon.

They’ve discovered that a molecule consisting of metallic “cages” bound to carbon may fight V protease, an enzyme critical to the virus’s life cycle. Protease inhibitors are among the drugs currently used to fight HIV, but they have many side effects. The new molecule prevents protease from working in infected cells but doesn’t appear to damage the cells. Dr. Zbyszek Otwinowski, a UT Southwestern biochemist, says this molecule could be the starting point for a whole new class of compounds for fighting HIV.

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January 2006

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