AIDS virus weakness detected

Image showing the broadly neutralizing antibody b12 A 3-D X-ray crystallographic image showing the broadly neutralizing antibody b12 (green ribbon) in contact with a critical target (yellow) for vaccine developers on HIV-1 gp120. Scientists have captured an image of the AIDS virus in a biological handshake with the immune cells it attacks, and said on Wednesday they hope this can help lead to a better vaccine against the incurable disease.

They pinpointed a place on the outside of the human immunodeficiency virus that could be vulnerable to antibodies that could block it from infecting human cells.

U.S. National Institutes of Health researcher Peter Kwong said the study, published in the journal Nature, may reveal HIV’s long-sought “site of vulnerability” that can be targeted with a vaccine aimed at preventing initial infection. (NIAID/Handout/Reuters)

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