Can we target the unchanging portion of virus RNA?

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Ivan Doykov

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Ivan Doykov  asked the Naked Scientists:

I love the show. I never miss a podcast.

My question is the following. We know that the HIV virus is a RNA based and that gives it the ability to mutate at extraordinary rate which is the reason why is so elusive to drugs.

The thing that bothers me is that even after it mutate it is still HIV so logic demand that there is a portion of RNA that is unchanged. If that is true can we use this to better control the virus?
Thank you in advance for your time

Ivan Doykov from London

PS: I apologize for any writing mistakes but English is not my first language.

What do you think?


Offline chris

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Can we target the unchanging portion of virus RNA?
« Reply #1 on: 09/01/2009 08:09:41 »
The answer is definitely, and this is how some vaccines and and diagnostic tests work; scientists are seeking to do the same thing with HIV by exploiting the fact that the CD4 receptor cannot change. We discussed this in a programme about emerging diseases:

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx