If we vaccinated everyone who could be medically vaccinated against measles, measles would be eradicated. Though there are other measles-like viruses, humans are the only hosts for what we commonly refer to as ‘measles’. Use vaccines to cut humans out of the equation? Extinct virus. Its that ‘easy’. Unfortunately, measles ‘wants’ to exist, and they…

Spoiler to apologize for click-bait title: Yes, the MMR vaccine works just fine. But there is a difference between ‘just fine’ and ‘perfectly’. A few things I would want in a ‘perfect’ vaccine– Only one dose is needed, zero side-effects, 100% protective antibody or CTL mediated immunity for life, inability of the target pathogen to…

Via John Wilkins and John Farrell: A Simple Visualization of How Species Evolve This is basically my dissertation, animated. LOL!! What are you looking at? Every pixel in that square is a genetic sequence. Some of those sequences confer a higher fitness advantage (the red colored peaks) or disadvantage (below the plane). The Blue color…

A shot to prevent HIV– Maybe.

Long-time readers of ERV know that I am not a fan of Pre-Exposure Prophylactics as a regular means of preventing HIV infection. In tightly controlled clinical trials, giving people who might be exposed to HIV anti-HIV drugs does lower infection rates… but when the same protocol is let loose ‘out in the wild’, the results…

You all might have heard about ‘delta32′ or ‘delta-CCR5′ people in association with HIV infection. People who naturally, by chance, have deletions and mutations in the CCR5 gene of their DNA dont make functional CCR5 proteins. It doesnt appear to be ‘a big deal’, and people who have this particular mutation seem to live normal…

I have known about this for a while, and have been debating whether or not I should say anything. I really dont want to give the disgraces responsible for the XMRV–>CFS fiasco, Judy Mikovits, Frank Ruscetti, and Sandra Ruscetti, any more attention. What turned my opinion was something T.R. Gregory said yesterday: I don’t *believe*…

Fun! I like this new idea! Targeted Cytotoxic Therapy Kills Persisting HIV Infected Cells During ART I havent talked about ‘scFv’ on ERV yet, but theyre very handy tools scientists are taking advantage of more and more these days. ‘scFv’s are single-chain variable fragments… not an overly useful name, but what they are are basically…

HIV-1s ancestors just got older-er

More HIV news! HIVs ancestor, SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), has been around a LOT longer than we previously thought. As I have mentioned before, we always assumed retroviruses like HIV, lentiviruses, are evolutionarily ‘young’. They are relatively complex, so probably ‘newish’ in retrovirus-world, but they do not fossilize well (we have found very few lentiviral…

The second baby

Holy crap the HIV news last week! So much HIV news! First on the list: Early Treatment Is Found to Clear H.I.V. in a 2nd Baby Just in case you have forgotten, the first baby. What happened to ‘the baby cured of HIV’? Now, the second baby– I must emphasize that I only know what…

‘Cure’ for HIV and HepC in Egypt

It is frustrating being a scientist in a political climate that is not supportive of science. But what we have to put up with in the US pales in comparison with something happening right now in Egypt: More from CNN: Egyptian army’s AIDS-cure claim gets harsh criticism Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdel-Atti is apparently a total…