Al writes: "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have immunized monkeys against the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the animal model that is closest to HIV. They did so by shuttling a gene into the monkeys' muscles, making the muscle cells produce antibody-like molecules that work against SIV. With both SIV and HIV, the chameleon-like mutability of the virus's surface changes so quickly that most antibodies made by the immune system are soon rendered ineffective. Philip Johnson and colleagues designed DNA sequences for two antibodies known to be effective against SIV. They used antibody-like molecules, called immunoadhesins, in which the functional part of an antibody is fused with a more stable section of another antibody. The same approach could be used to deliver antibodies that are effective against HIV, but which the body doesn't normally produce."
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