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Thursday, December 13, 2007

HIV Rides Seminal Protein Rafts To Uninfected Free Worlds

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2007 at 11:43 AM

click to enlarge aids_virus_thumb.jpg
Men are so gross. New research shows male semen contains a protein fragment that boosts HIV transmission by 100,000 times. From the Gate:

The fragments dramatically boost HIV infection by clustering into microscopic rafts that ferry crowds of virus particles to cell surfaces, like landing craft disgorging invaders on a beach. ... When researchers try to infect human cells under a microscope with HIV, it takes between 1,000 and 100,000 particles of the virus to cause a successful infection. That's weak, as viral infectivity goes. But when the proteins found by Kirchhoff are added to the mix, it is possible to trigger a successful infection with as few as three particles of virus.

Scientists are working on a way to neutralize said protein, meanwhile two stopgap measures are being enforced: more lesbianism and facials. —David Downs

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