Korean research team finds substance that blocks HIV infectionUpdated: 2014-07-21 19:09:25 KST
Over 35-million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
There is no cure, and there is no vaccine, although Korean researchers believe they may be on the right track toward developing one.
A team from Seoul NU says they have discovered an enzyme called SAMHD1 that breaks up the RNA of the part of virus that contains the infection.
They say it leaves open the possibility of completely blocking off the infection in the first place.
"The HIV gene is composed of RNA strands and the SAMHD1 cellular enzyme takes direct aim at the gene and complelely restrains a virus from developing."
The team is optimistic that the SAMHD1 enzyme can be developed into an AIDS vaccine over time.
"Even if the HIV virus mutates, as it normally does, the newly discovered enzyme will identify the changes, thereby raising the possibility of creating a vaccine."
That would take time though, up to 10 years to be exact, as a research team is now just wrapping-up their basic cell-research.
The new findings have been published in the medical journal, Nature Medicine.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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