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Scripps Research Institute

Close-up of virus could ease HIV vaccine research

Close-up of virus could ease HIV vaccine research

The search for an HIV vaccine has taken an important step forward after researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla managed to capture molecular images of a protein spike that allows the deadly virus to invade human immune cells to hack their genetic code. The ability to control and analyze that shape-shifting envelope trimer protein, which has evaded the best efforts of biochemistry for more than a decade, could offer researchers the ability to see whether they can induce natural antibodies to attack the virus’ most vulnerable spot, a crucial step toward engineering a vaccine. “In order to develop a vaccine, you have to understand what bits on that very...

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