Daily Archives: November 5, 2010

fascinating article of HIV

this article, researchers find another piece to the AIDS puzzle, explains a huge leap in the understanding of how the body fights HIV/AIDS. some people, 1 in 300, don’t get sick from the virus. their body keeps it in check. now we know why. after studying ~1500 people with this trait, it was discovered that on “chromosome 6 that code for a component of the immune system called HLA – human leukocyte antigens – which distinguish the body’s own cells from foreign invaders,” a much faster response to the HIV virus occurs. “these HLA proteins can grab a piece of the viral protein and ‘hang it out the window.’ That, he said, signals that something terrible is going on in that cell. ‘Then, the killer T cells come and blow up the factory.'” basically, the HLA’s in these “controllers” signal faster, so the T cells can stay on top of the reproducing virus. in some “controllers”, no virus shows up in a test, though antigens for HIV do.

i find this incredibly fascinating. not just because of the possible advancement in AIDS therapy it suggests, but because of the what it says about genetic mutation. as was mentioned in the article, if HIV were a disease you could acquire through social contact (or maybe from a mosquito like malaria) eventually those with this genetic trait would be the only ones to survive. isn’t that amazing?! thank goodness you can’t acquire HIV that easily, but i am just amazed by how small genetic differences can make such a huge difference in how we respond to the biological world around us. when i am finished with my nursing program i would really love to go into research. oncology drug research is doing some amazing things too. it is all just so cool!

btw, i actually passed my pharm exam. in fact, i not only passed it, i got the same score i did on the last test. what is up with that? i studied a FRACTION of the amount on this most recent test compared to the previous one. i had seriously thought i failed. and not just nursing school failed, less than 75, but regular school failed, less than 50. go figure. i do plan on studying a BIT harder for the next one. we have no tests next week so i will be able to get ahead on my studying. thank goodness.